Edmonds-Woodway overcame plenty of obstacles in order to secure its first berth to the state softball tournament in 17 years.
But none was as thrilling as the Warriors’ come-from-behind 6-5 victory over Ferndale in a winner-to-state/loser-out 3A District tournament game Thursday night at Phil Johnson Ballfields in Everett.
The game was tied at 4 when the Golden Eagles pushed across a run in the bottom of the sixth to take a 5-4 lead.
Edmonds-Woodway coach Mike Venable still felt good about his team’s chances in the seventh since the top of the lineup was coming up to bat.
“Those are the ones who’ve been getting on base and the hitters later down in the order have been driving them home,” Venable said.
He was right.
With one out, Moni Jackson reached first base on a throwing error. Jackie Lovelace followed with a hard grounder that the third baseman fielded but ended up not throwing to any base. Both runners then moved up a base on a ground out.
Junior Taylor Jones then stepped to the plate and as she has done all season long, the first baseman delivered a single to right field that scored both runners and gave the Warriors a 6-5 lead. (See video clip below for Jones’ hit.)
“Taylor Jones has been hitting well for us,” Venable said. “She came through for us again. It’s amazing how well she’s done that.”
Mariah Woolery came in relief of starting pitcher Kyra Collingridge in the bottom of the seventh and retired the side to secure the victory.
Woolery helped lead the Warriors to a 6-2 victory over Marysville-Pilchuck in a loser-out game earlier on Thursday.
“She pitched well in that game and I had confidence that she could finish the game,” Venable said. “Our starting pitcher Kyra did a great job for us too.”
Edmonds-Woodway (16-8) lost 10-1 to Ferndale to open the tournament and then strung together three straight victories over Mountlake Terrace, Marysville-Pilchuck and Ferndale.
“Our girls have a lot of perseverance,” Venable said. “We’ve got some good players that can make plays and our hitters came through when they needed to … It all worked out well.”
Many of the Warriors weren’t even born the last time the Warriors made an appearance at the state softball tournament. Venable is looking forward to the experience.
“We’ll definitely be the newbies on the block,” he said. “We’re going to have a fun time and we’ll do the best we can. I’m hoping they’ll bring their A game and I have no reason to think they won’t.”
The 3A state tournament is scheduled for May 29-30 at the Regional Athletic Complex in Lacey.
— By David Pan