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State 3A softball: Mt. Spokane finishes fourth

Although Mt. Spokane eventually ran out of gas, the Wildcats aren’t pouting after losing 14-4 to Everett in the State 3A softball tournament third-place game on Saturday.

The Wildcats’ fourth-place and 4-2 finish in the state tournament is the best in school history.

“This is by far the best we’ve played on,” said Jadeyn Cronn, a four-year senior. “This team has so much chemistry on and off the field and I think it shows when we played, too.”

After being sent to the loser’s bracket, Mt. Spokane beat Shadle Park 5-3 on Friday, then edged Kelso 1-0 and outlasted Marysville-Pilchuck 11-10 on Saturday to advance to the consolation final.

In the third-place game, Everett scored four runs in the first inning, including a two-run home run from Sydney Taggart. Karissa Johnson added a solo shot to start the second inning.

It was a hole the Wildcats could not climb out of.

“Getting down five early put us in a tough spot,” Mt. Spokane coach Carl Adams said. “The result wasn’t there, but they didn’t stop fighting, they didn’t stop digging. I’m proud of them for that.”

The Wildcats erased an early five-run deficit, as well as a two-run deficit in the fifth inning to beat M-P. Despite a six-RBI performance from M-P’s McKenzie Justice, which included a three-run home run to go ahead 8-6 in the fourth inning, Mt. Spokane hung on to win.

Every player in Mt. Spokane’s lineup reached on a base hit against the Tomahawks. Jadeyn Cronn was 2 for 4 with three RBIs and a home run to highlight the Wildcats’ highest run total of the tournament.

“Hitting is a little bit contagious,” Adams said. “You get a couple good contact hits, and everyone is feeling it a little bit.”

Against Everett, Cronn, Hannah Madsen, McKenzie Funk and Jolene House drove in runs for the Wildcats. House went 2 for 4.

In the Wildcats’ game against Kelso, Jesse Dupuis and Riley Barnes combined to throw a four-hitter to protect the Wildcats’ one-run lead. Cronn drove in House in the first inning to give Mt. Spokane its run.

A balanced scoring effort helped the Wildcats in a barnburner against M-P. The Wildcats erased a five-run deficit to go up 6-5 in the top of the third, then again came back from two down after McKenzie Justice drilled a two-run home run to left field.

The Wildcats graduate six seniors, but return their two starting pitchers, Dupuis and Barnes.

Those are nice building blocks to have coming off a record-breaking season, says Adams.

“It’s a luxury to have those two kids,” Adams said. “We’re very fortunate.”