Even after three lengthy games on Friday and a back-to-back pair on Saturday, Central Valley softball coach Joe Stanton was ready for extra innings – if only for clarification.
And perhaps a little hardware.
Following two long days, Stanton’s Bears defeated Rogers (Puyallup) 9-4 before losing 3-0 to eventual fourth-place finisher Jefferson, falling just short of earning the school’s first trophy at the State 4A tournament at the Dwight Merkel Sports Complex in Spokane.
Richland beat Monroe in the other consolation semifinal, which left Monroe and Central Valley as the fifth- and sixth-place teams.
“I would love to play the other team for fifth and sixth – I think we’ve got one more in us,” Stanton said.
Sophomore pitcher Carli Riordan scattered eight hits combined for the day, and in the afternoon loss to Jefferson, which beat CV 7-4 in its opener, the Bears played solid defense to keep the Raiders from blowing the game wide open.
“Everything they got they had to earn,” Stanton said. “That’s a really gritty team and they hit the ball hard on us. I’m absolutely impressed with how we never panicked. We stayed with it and got outs when we needed them. They had pressure on us in four of the seven innings and we never folded.
“It could have been a lot worse.”
And as Stanton told his team following the loss, he’s confident they’ll have it even better next season. The Bears could return all but three from this year’s roster – seniors McKenzie Shea, Taylor Wayman and Brittani Gilbert.
“I’m excited for next year,” he said. “It was an amazing season with the way these kids came together. We had some pretty big bumps in the road in the middle of our season and all of the sudden they kind of started trusting in me and in each other, and most importantly they started believing in themselves.
“I told them out there – this year it’s fifth-sixth, next year we’re playing on TV (in the championship).”
Woodinville 6, Walla Walla 0: Madi Schreyer allowed three hits and struck out eight as the Falcons (26-0) capped an undefeated season with a shutout over defending champion Walla Walla (26-2) to win the championship.
Woodinville jumped in front 2-0 on sophomore Sarah Taketa’s two-run double in the bottom of the first inning. The Falcons added another run in the third and two more in the fourth on Emily Jackson’s two-run single.
Woodinville outscored opponents 45-3 in four tournament wins.
“Our kids are very motivated,” Falcons coach Mark Leander said. “They make the plays that make you look good.”