The Emerald Ridge High Jaguars had yet to be truly challenged this season.
But when they finally met up with a Camas High Papermakers team that matched them blow-for-blow in the West Central District Class 4A district title game on Monday night at Sprinker Recreation Fields, the Jaguars proved to be up to the task.
Emerald Ridge scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to upend Camas, 2-1, and lock up the district title and the No. 1 seed to this weekend’s 4A state tournament in Spokane. Camas will go as the No. 2 seed.
After not having much luck all night against Camas ace Harli Hubbard, Emerald Ridge (26-0) finally broke through in the seventh.
Rachel Smith led off with a single, and Chelsea Hayes brought her home with a triple to left center. Tenli Petty then lined a bouncer to second base, and Hayes — running on contact — beat the throw to the plate, slapping the back corner with her hand as she slid by the tag.
Hubbard had Emerald Ridge’s number all night, but the Jaguars was able to finally wear her down.
Camas (19-5) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth after tallying three consecutive one-out hits against Emerald Ridge starter Meagan Hendrix.
But Hendrix limited the damage, getting the final two batters of the inning to pop out. She was strong from there on out, even working out of a jam in the top of the seventh.
In Class 3A action, Enumclaw busted out for 10 runs in the bottom of the first inning and went on to a 14-0 victory over Peninsula. The win gave Enumclaw (21-3) its first district fastpitch title in school history. Peninsula (18-7) is the second seed.
Chloe Young hit a home run and a two-run single in the inning, and Quinn Breidenbach added three RBI.
In Class 2A, White River scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to break open a scoreless game. Brooklyn Issacs went 2-for-3 with a home run and drove in all four runs as the Hornets captured the top seed.