SPOKANE – As they prepared to receive the second-place trophy, tears rolled down the cheeks of several Skyview softball players.
But as the team huddled in left field after the Class 4A state championship game, the true mood of the 2022 Storm came through – laughter.
First in chuckles and then in bursts, Skyview players and coaches relished an unforgettable season.
Skyview fell to Redmond 7-6 in the championship game Saturday, earning the second-best finish in program history. Only the 2001 Class 3A state championship team finished higher.
“It was really special because freshman year, we made it to state but didn’t do very well,” senior outfielder Averie Sievers said. “To come back to the same tournament and get second is really special, especially since it’s my last year of softball.”
There was a season’s worth of twists and turns in just two games Saturday for Skyview.
There was drama. Skyview reached the title game with a thrilling seventh-inning rally in the semifinals, scoring four runs in the final inning to beat Jackson 4-3.
There was courage. After 4A Greater St. Helens League Pitcher of the Year Maddie Milhorn suffered a knee injury late in the semifinals, freshman Reese Perdue got the ball for the title game. She held her own, keeping the Storm in the game and looking better each inning.
“I told her look, it’s our job to score the runs,” Skyview coach Kim Anthony said. “You just pitch strikes. She’s not going to do what Maddie does. But I’ve told her like 25 times, I’m so proud of you.”
Redmond scored the winning run in the top of the seventh on a two-out double by Tia Milloy, the daughter of former University of Washington football star and Redmond assistant coach Lawyer Milloy.
Prior to that, Skyview tied the game 6-6 in the bottom of the sixth on Lauren Johnson’s second double of the game.
Skyview clawed out of an early 5-2 hole with three runs in the third. Addison Harmier’s RBI double and Maddi Scull’s two-run single capped a two-out rally that saw five straight base hits. Harmier also hit a two-run home run in the first inning.
In its semifinal win over Jackson, Skyview beat the team that had won the last two state titles before COVID canceled the 2020 and 2021 tournaments.
With two out, Skylar Groesbeck’s RBI single drove in Harmier for the winning run. Prior to that, Kya Jenkins scored the tying run when Sam Groesbeck laid down a perfect bunt with one out.
Skyview hadn’t cashed in on its chances prior to the final inning, leaving seven runners in scoring position. But Harmier changed that in the seventh, hitting a two-RBI double to kick-start the winning rally.
“The thing that made me appreciate the team even more than I imagined was that we never gave up,” senior shortstop Kya Jenkins said. “Even though we hadn’t scored any runs before that, it was that belief that we were going to win it. Just that fight is amazing to be a part of.”
Skyview finished the season 21-2, its only losses coming in the state and bi-district championship games.
“I’ve been doing this a long time and you don’t just get to the state championship,” Anthony said. “I know they’re sad about losing. But don’t spend any more time being sad because this is amazing.”
Battle Ground places third
Battle Ground completed a thrilling postseason with its best finish in program history. The Tigers won third place by beating Skyline 3-2 in nine innings.
Candice Adams scored the winning run with one out on a bunt by Brooke Rausch.
To reach the third-place game, Battle Ground beat Kamiakin 8-2 and Puyallup 14-4 in loser-out games earlier Saturday. That’s on top of surviving one loser-out game Friday and three loser-out games at the bi-district tournament last weekend.
What made the Tigers so tough when their backs were to the wall?
“Pure resilience,” senior Liv Gruenberg said. “We do a really good job of lifting each other up.”
Rylee Rehbein threw 295 pitches in three games Saturday. She also went 8 for 11 at the plate, homering against Puyallup.
Liv Gruenberg finished the state tournament 10 for 19 with 12 RBI and two home runs.
“This team is so good at making solid memories,” Gruenberg said. “I’m so happy to be a part of everything we’ve done the last four years.”
REDMOND 7, SKYVIEW 6
Redmond 122 001 1—7 13 0
Skyview 203 001 0—6 13 1
Pitching – Reese Perdue 7 IP, 13 H, 7 ER, 3 K, 3 BB. Highlights – Averie Sievers 2-3; Lauren Johnson 3-4, R, RBI, 2 2B; Kya Jenkins 1-4, R; Addison Harmier 2-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, HR, 2B; Maddi Scull 1-4, 2 RBI; Skylar Groesbeck 2-3, SB; Layla Royle 2-2.
SKYVIEW 4, JACKSON 3
Jackson 000 012 0—3 9 2
Skyview 000 000 4—4 9 1
Pitching – Maddie Milhorn 6 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 10 K, 0 BB; Reese Perdue 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 K, 1 BB. Highlights – Averie Sievers 2-4; Addison Harmier 2-4, R, 2 RBI; Sam Groesbeck, 1-1, RBI; Maddi Scull 1-4, Skylar Groesbeck 3-4, RBI.
BATTLE GROUND 3, SKYLINE 2, 9 innings
Skyline 000 020 000—2 3 0
Battle Ground 000 002 001—3 8 3
Pitching – Rylee Rehbein 9 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 9 K, 4 BB. Highlights – Rylee Rehbein 1-4; Kelly Monaghan 2-3, SB; Emma Elliott 1-3, RBI, 2B; Liv Gruenberg 1-4, R, SB; Cady Gruenberg 1-3; Lorelei Brown 1-1, RBI; Brooke Rausch 1-2, RBI.
BATTLE GROUND 14, PUYALLUP 4
Puyallup 000 103—4 6 1
Battle Ground 108 005—14 16 1
Pitching – Rylee Rehbein 6 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 10 K, 1 BB. Highlights – Rylee Rehbein 2-3, R, 2 RBI, HR; Kelly Monaghan 2-4, 2B; Emma Elliott 1-3, R; Annali Lindersmith 1-1, R; Liv Gruenberg 2-3, 2 R, 5 RBI, HR, 2B; Cady Gruenberg 1-3, R; Loreli Brown 1-1; Brooke Rausch 1-4, 2 R, RBI; Katelyn Swanson 3-3, 2 R, 4 RBI, HR, 2B; Hailey Ferguson 2-3, R, 2 RBI, 2B.
BATTLE GROUND 8, KAMIAKIN 2
Kamiakin 002 000 0—2 6 0
Battle Ground 101 600 x—8 10 1
Pitching – Rylee Rehbein 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 6 K, 0 BB; Haylee Newton 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 K, 0 BB. Highlights – Rylee Rehbein 3-4; Kelly Monaghan 1-4, RBI; Emma Elliott 1-3, R, RBI, 2B; Liv Gruenberg 2-3, RBI, 2B; Cady Gruenberg 1-2, 2 RBI; Candice Adams 1-3, R, RBI, 2B; Hailey Ferguson 1-3, R, RBI.