It took a couple of extra-inning thrillers, but for the sixth consecutive year the W.F. West High School fastpitch team is heading into the state tournament with a district championship under its belt. Ashlyn Whalen’s double in the bottom of the seventh drove in Paetynn Lopez to give the Bearcats a dramatic 4-3 victory over Ridgefield in the Class 2A District 4 title game at Borst Park in Centralia on May 18.
W.F. West (20-3) will make its 15th straight trip to the state tournament on May 25 at Carlon Park in Selah. The Bearcats will face White River (12-12) in the first round at 10:00 a.m. with the winner playing the winner of Selah (21-2) and Lakewood (17-6) at 4:00 p.m.
W.F. West will look to win back-to-back state championships after defeating Port Angeles, 5-1, last season. The Bearcats also won the 2015 state crown with a 3-2 win over White River and finished third in 2016.
Since the 2A classification’s inception in 1998 only one team, Montesano (2000-2001), has won consecutive state championships.
W.F. West will take a 10-game winning streak and plenty of momentum into the state tournament.
After opening the district tournament with an 8-2 win over Hockinson, the Bearcats needed 10 innings to put away Woodland, 10-5, in the semifinals.
Trailing 4-3 in the top of the seventh, W.F. West was able to push one runner across home plate on Ashlee Vadala’s sacrifice fly to send the game into the extra frames. W.F. West sealed up another district title in the 10th, scoring 5 runs.
While the Bearcats were adding more district championships to their already gaudy resume, Napavine captured its first ever 2B District 4 title with a 6-4 win over league rival Pe Ell-Willapa Valley on May 19 at Borst Park.
The Tigers (20-3) and Titans (19-4) split during the regular season with Napavine winning 3-0 in the first of a double header on April 23 and Pe Ell-Willapa Valley claiming the rematch in a 22-12 drubbing.
Napavine was 0-4 last season against the Titans, losing the district title game, 10-0, before falling to Pe Ell-Willapa Valley, 10-1, in the state championship.
Both teams will head to the Gateway Sports Complex in Yakima for the state tournament, which begins on May 25.
The Tigers face Liberty of Spangle (16-6) in the first round. The Titans open up defense of their state title against Orcas Island (19-4).
Adna (17-10) defeated Morton-White Pass, 11-6, to secure the district’s fifth and final state playoff berth. The Pirates play Dayton in the opening round.
W.F. West and Adna Punch Ticket to State Baseball Semifinals
Dreams of a state baseball championship are still very much alive for both W.F. West and Adna as each program secured berths to the state semifinals.
The Bearcats (22-2) defeated North Kitsap, 8-6, in the Class 2A state quarterfinals to wrap up their second consecutive trip to the semifinals, while Adna (21-4) beat Rainier, 4-1, in the 2B state quarterfinals.
W.F. West will face a familiar foe in the semifinals when they play Ellensburg at 10:00 a.m. on May 25 at County Stadium in Yakima. The Bulldogs, which defeated Fife (7-5) in the first round and Sehome (14-1) in the quarterfinals, knocked off the Bearcats, 5-1, in last year’s state 2A title game.
Ellensburg (20-4) also ended W.F. West’s season in 2016 when the Bulldogs bested the Bearcats, 4-2, in the quarterfinals.
The winner will play the winner of West Valley (Spokane) and Mountlake Terrace in the championship game on May 26.
W.F. West, which has won 22 streak games after opening the season 0-2, kicked off its run to the semifinals with a 5-2 victory over Ephrata in a first round matchup that was highlighted by senior Tyson Guerrero’s fifth inning home run.
In the quarterfinals, the Bearcats beat North Kitsap, 8-6, as Dakota Hawkins, Brock Jones and Leandra Gaines each drove in a run to help W.F. West to a 3-0 first inning lead.
The Vikings advanced to the quarterfinals after defeating Centralia, 11-1, in the opening round. The Tigers ended their season with a record of 15-10.
This marks the seventh time W.F. West has advanced to the state semifinals. The Bearcats won state titles in 2010 with a win over R.A. Long (8-1) and in 2013 following a 12-0 defeat of Tumwater in the championship contest.
Adna will get to stay local in its quest to win the program’s third state 2B title since 2013 when it travels to Wheeler Field in Centralia to play Brewster (21-4) on May 25 at 7:00 p.m. Tri-Cities Prep (23-2) and Kalama (19-7) will meet in the earlier semifinal at 4:00 p.m.
The Pirates, who last won a state title in 2015, defeated Ocosta, 4-0, in the first round.