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Practically Perfect: Woodland repeats as 2A softball champs

Ridgefield places third for highest finish in 15 years

By , Columbian Sports Editor
Published:
7 Photos
Woodland's Olivia Grey holds up the state championship trophy as her teammates celebrate after a 3-0 victory over W.F. West on Saturday, May 25, 2019 at Carlon Park in Selah, Wash.
Woodland's Olivia Grey holds up the state championship trophy as her teammates celebrate after a 3-0 victory over W.F. West on Saturday, May 25, 2019 at Carlon Park in Selah, Wash. (Evan Abell/for The Columbian) Photo Gallery

SELAH – A nearly perfect game.

A nearly perfect tournament.

A nearly perfect season.

Olivia Grey and the Woodland softball team finished the season in the only way fitting Saturday at the 2A state tournament.

Grey pitched a no-hitter and struck out 16 as Woodland beat W.F. West of Chehalis 3-0 to repeat as state champions.

It completed a practically perfect season for Woodland. The Beavers finished 26-1, their only loss coming in a meaningless tune-up game on Tuesday that Grey didn’t pitch.

It capped a practically perfect season for Grey. The Portland State-bound senior allowed just one earned run in 147 innings for an earned-run average of 0.05. She had 329 strikeouts and allowed just 28 hits.

And it finished a state tournament where Woodland couldn’t be touched. The Beavers outscored four opponents 22-0, clubbing six home runs and committing just two errors.

“I’m still in shock with how well they played,” head coach Tom Christensen said.

Grey allowed just three hits and three walks over 26 innings, striking out 65. She began Saturday by striking out 19 and allowing two hits in a 5-0 semifinal win over Sehome.

In the championship game, Grey struck out nine of the first 10 hitters she faced. Only three W.F. West hitters reached base.

“I knew at the beginning we were going to have this game,” Grey said. “The energy was right where it needed to be. We were all having fun. We were loose. It didn’t feel like a championship game.”

Woodland became the first 2A team to repeat as state champion since Montesano in 2001. The Beavers returned much of last year’s team, meaning it was familiar territory within the fences at Carlon Park.

Woodland made marks beyond the fences too.

Kaily Christensen clubbed a two-run home run to give Woodland a 2-0 lead in the third inning of the title game.

“A proud dad moment,” coach Christensen said. “There were a couple tears behind my sunglasses.”

The following inning, Kelly Sweyer hit one of the tournament’s longest home runs. It landed well past the 200-foot outfield wall, hitting the complex’s boundary fence more than 50 feet beyond.

“That might be the farthest home run I’ve ever hit,” said Sweyer. “Those are the ones you don’t think you hit hard, but it just carries.”

The title-game heroics capped a stellar tournament for Christensen. The junior shortstop went 8 for 14 with three home runs.

“I think this year it was more of us playing for our team and playing for each other,” she said. “They both meant a lot, but it feels so good to do it again with the same teammates.”

Saturday offered memories Woodland’s players will remember forever. With a wisdom beyond her years, Grey made sure to soak in every moment.

“It’s a lifetime experience,” she said. “It’s something you can never do again. High school goes by super fast. I wish I would have realized that freshman year. I would have savored a lot more moments. But the thing is, senior year was perfect.”

Ridgefield places third

Ridgefield’s roller coaster season ended on a high it hasn’t reached in 15 years.

The Spudders bounced back from a 13-3 semifinal loss to W.F. West with wins over Lynden and Tumwater to place third.

It’s the highest state tournament finish for Ridgefield since it won a state title in 2004. It comes less than two weeks after head coach Dusty Anchors passed away from heart disease at 68.

“Oh my gosh, it has been a roller coaster,” said senior Sarah Jenkins. “Lots of crying. Lots of hopefulness. Lots of anger. It has been crazy.”

Jenkins drove in three runs as Ridgefield rebounded from the semifinal loss with an 11-0 win over Lynden in five innings.

One day after a 20-strikeout showing in the quarterfinals, Kaia Oliver allowed just one hit against Lynden. She also went 3 for 3 at the plate.

In an 8-2 win over Tumwater in the third-place game, Oliver allowed just four hits and also homered.

Though the Spudders fell short of the title, their bounce-back Saturday showed the heart of a champion.

“Oh we take so much pride in it, especially after our coach passing away,” Jenkins said. “We wanted to do it for him, ourselves and our families.”

With Woodland, W.F. West, Ridgefield and Tumwater, the Southwest District 4 claimed all four of the state tournament’s trophies.

WOODLAND 3, W.F. WEST 0

Woodland 002 100 0 – 3 5 1

W.F. West 000 000 0 – 0 0 0

Woodland

Pitching – Olivia Grey 7 IP, 16 K, 1 BB. Offensive highlights – Kaily Christensen 1-3, R, 2 RBI, HR; Chloe Eddy 1-3, 2B; Kelly Sweyer 1-3, R, RBI, HR; Carleigh Risley 1-3; Katherine Paloutzian 1-2, R.

W.F. West

Pitching – Kamy Dacus 7 IP, 5 K, 0 BB.

WOODLAND 5, SEHOME 0

Sehome 000 000 0 – 0 2 1

Woodland 200 003 x – 5 11 0

Sehome

Pitching – Kaylee Wilson 6 IP, 5 K, 0 bb. Offensive highlights Natalie Zender 1-2; Maryellen Burfiend 1-2.

Woodland

Pitching – Olivia Grey 7 IP, 19 K, 1 BB. Offensive highlights Kaily Christensen 4-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR, 2B; Justice Holcomb 1-4, R; Chloe Eddy 1-3; Payton Foster 1-3; Carleigh Risley 1-3; Maddi Bunger 1-3; Gwen Elkington 1-3, R, RBI, 2B; Katherine Paloutzian 1-3.

RIDGEFIELD 8, TUMWATER 2

Tumwater 100 010 0 – 2 4 4

Ridgefield 304 100 x – 8 7 2

Tumwater

Pitching – Savannah Owen 7 IP, 1 K, 4 BB; Offensive highlights – Myiah Seaton 1-3, R, RBI, HR; Savannah Owen 2-4; Sawyer Vessey 1-4.

Ridgefield

Pitching – Kaia Oliver 7 IP, 6 K, 6 BB. Offensive highlights – Sarah Jenkins 1-4; Lily Mittmann 2-3, 2R; Kaia Oliver 2-4, R, 2 RBI, HR; Mia Tomillo 2-4, R, RBI.

RIDGEFIELD 11, LYNDEN 0

Ridgefield 121 34 – 11 13 0

Lynden 000 00 – 0 1 3

Ridgefield

Pitching – Kaia Oliver 5 IP, 4 K, 0 BB. Offensive highlights – Sarah Jenkins 2-4, 3 R, 3 RBI, Emma Jenkins 2-4, 2 R, 2 RBI; Kekai Schultz 2-3, RBI; Kaia Oliver 3-3 2 R, RBI; Mia Tomillo 2-3, 2 R; Hailee Gruber 1-2, R, 2B.

Lynden

Pitching – Beanna Swendt 5 IP, 4 K, 2 BB. Offensive highlights – Ashlyn Alexander 1-1.

W.F. WEST 13, RIDGEFIELD 3

Ridgefield 002 001 – 3 5 5

W.F. West 302 404 – 13 10 2

Ridgefield

Pitching Kaia Oliver 3.2 IP, 2 K, 2 BB; 4 ER; Sarah Jenkins 2 IP, 3 K, 2 BB, 5 ER. Offensive highlights Sarah Jenkins 2-3, R, 2 RBI, HR; Kekai Schultz 1-3, R; Lily Mittmann 1-2, 2B; Hailee Gruber 1-2.

W.F. West

Pitching Kamy Dacus 6 IP, 4 K1 BB, 1 ER. Offensive highlights Ava Fugate 1-4, 2R, RBI, HR; Ashlyn Whalen 2-3, 2 R, 2B; Paetynn Lopez 2-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2B; Paytton Crawford 2-3, R, RBI, 2B; Kamy Dacus 1-4, 2 R, 2 RBI; HR.

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