Lexie Strasser’s performance on the mound, however, made sure the Bearcats’ usual offensive onslaught wasn’t necessarily needed.
Strasser has been a dominant pitcher all season. Against Ridgefield in the championship showdown the senior was even better.
Strasser was nearly perfect in helping W.F. West capture its sixth consecutive district title as she tossed a no-hitter in the Bearcats title clinching 4-0 victory over the Spudders at 7th Avenue Park in Longview.
All that stood in Strasser’s way from a perfect game was the fourth inning walk she was credited with. Other than that, she was pure pitching gold.
Strasser retired the first 10 batters she faced before registering her lone walk. She responded by retiring the next 11 batters.
The Bearcats (18-2) got all the runs they would need in the first inning, scoring two runs in the opening frame.
W.F. West, which is undefeated this year against 2A opponents, opens the 2A state tournament on May 26 at Carlon Park in Selah with a 10:00 a.m. game against Othello, the fourth seed out of district 5/6/7.
The Huskies (16-8) defeated Fife, 3-1, to win last year’s state championship and has placed among the top three in state four consecutive seasons.
This marks the fourth meeting at the state tournament between the two successful programs since 2013. The teams met twice at the 2013 tournament with W.F. West win its first round match-up with Othello, 7-6, before falling to the Huskies in the consolation bracket, 14-6.
The Huskies won the most recent contest, defeating the Bearcats, 9-3, in the semifinals in 2014.
Once again W.F. West ran roughshod through the district tournament, outscoring its opponents a combined 29-1 during its three-game run toward another title.
W.F. West defeated Woodland, 14-0, in the first round, then smacked Columbia River, which shared the 2A Greater Saint Helens League championship with Ridgefield, by a score of 11-1 in the semifinals.
The Bearcats needed just five innings to put both teams away.
Junior Kindra Davis was her normal impressive self on offensive, hitting two home runs in the win over Woodland and launching another one over the fence against the Chieftains.
Strasser also picked up the win over Columbia River, striking out five, while junior Ashlee Vadala got the victory over Woodland after throwing a one-hit shutout.
W.F. West wasn’t the only Lewis County high school to capture a district championship following an impressive pitching performance as Dakota Brooks tossed a no-hitter in Pe Ell/Willapa Valley’s 10-0 victory in the 2B District 4 tournament over rival Napavine at Fort Borst Field in Centralia.
A total of four teams from the powerful 2B Central League secured trips to the state tournament, which begins on May 26 at the Gateway Sports Complex at Kiwanis Park in Yakima.
The Titans improved to 22-1 after destroying their three district opponents by a combined score of 41-2. They defeated Onalaska, 17-0, and Adna, 14-2, to secure a spot in the title game.
An Abby Hodel home run in the fifth inning ended the championship contest against Napavine.
Brooks also chipped in a three-run shot against the Tigers – the senior’s third homer at districts. She also smacked a grand slam against Onalaska and added a three-run blast against Adna.
Pe Ell/Willapa Valley will square off against Liberty Bell in the first round at the state tournament. Napavine will play Tri-Cities Prep and Adna faces Northwest Christian (Colbert) in the opening round.
The 2B Central League has produced the last nine state champions, including Toutle Lake, which defeated Adna, 9-8, to claim the 2016 crown.