YAKIMA – Colton’s four straight 1B softball state championships had plenty of different components. And a lot of players named Druffel and Moser. But one element was missing – high drama.
That all changed on Sunday as the Wildcats scored twice in the bottom of the seventh inning and won a fifth-straight state title at Gateway Softball Complex.
Sophomore catcher Carrie Hennigar’s double into the left-field corner scored two runs as Colton bested Almira/Coulee-Hartline, 9-8, capping a game where the Wildcats rallied twice before the seventh inning.
Colton’s fifth straight title is a state best, both in slowpitch and fastpitch. The last three of those titles have come at the expense of the Warriors.
Not for lack of effort again this time. ACH has lost in the previous finals by scores of 5-2 and 10-8. This time it took a high-scoring Colton team that had tallied 45 runs in its three previous postseason games until the final at-bat to settle the outcome.
“We tell these kids to not overreact and not underreact,” Colton coach Brad Nilson said when he was asked what he told his team prior to their final at-bat. “We told them to go play our game.”
Freshman Zoe Moser started the Colton rally with a hustling double off what looked to be a routine single to left field. After a batter’s interference call, Savannah Chadwick walked and took second on defensive indifference.
Hennigar, who had a two-run single in the first inning and another single in the fifth inning, drilled the ball down the line in left, with the runners scoring easily to end the game.
“Our kids did everything right,” a weary Warriors coach Nicole Evans said. “We were with them the whole time.”
Fiona Jorgenson had given the Warriors the lead in the top of the seventh with a two-out, two-run single down the left-field line.
The Warriors jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, making the most of a walk and three singles.
Colton set the tone for the rest of the contest, answering with three runs of its own – two on a single from Hennigar –in the bottom of the inning.
Winning pitcher Winnie Schultheis had a two-run homer for Colton in the second inning.