SPOKANE – It wasn’t the kind of day Emerald Ridge High School expected to have at the state Class 4A fastpitch championships.
Coming into the tournament undefeated, the Jaguars had plans of challenging for a state title.
Instead, the team was sent packing early. Newport overcame a 6-1 deficit in the opening game to score a 10-9 victory.
In the consolation round, the team was one out away from a 2-1 victory only to see Tahoma’s Delany Nelson belt a three-run home run that turned into a 4-3 win for the Bears.
“We just didn’t execute the way we needed to,” Nelons said. “That’s uncharacteristic of this team. Usually we’re the team that executes when we need to to win games. We haven’t been behind very many times this year, but when we have been, we’ve found a way to come back.”
Against Newport, the stumbling block was the fifth inning. With the bases loaded and two out, the Knights hit back-to-back infield singles. Pitcher Meagan Hendrix fielded a come-backer and overthrew first, clearing the bases, tying the score.
Newport loaded the bases again in the sixth, then sandwiched a pair of singles around an outfield error to make it 10-6.
Rachael Smith belted a three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh, but the Jaguars could not scratch home the tying run.
Meanwhile, the young Titans of Todd Beamer collected two wins in three games to advance to Saturday play.
Beamer spanked Bothell in a first-round game, 9-2, but ran into the power arm of senior pitcher Ronnie Ladines of Arlington in the quarterfinals and was knocked into the consolation round, 12-0.
Rallying behind sophomore pitcher Maddie Rogers, the Titans bounced right back to blank Lake Stevens, 4-0, in a loser-out nightcap.