Thursday’s 2A Softball: Bearcats Power Past Centralia in Regular Season Finale
HOME RUNS: W.F. West Hits Four Home Runs, Sets New Regular Season Record
By Matt Baide
W.F. West has power throughout the lineup and it was on full display at Borst Park in Centralia on Thursday.
The Lady Bearcats hit four home runs to defeat the Tigers 13-1 in six innings in the Evergreen 2A Conference regular season softball finale.
W.F. West ends the regular season with 46 home runs, doubling up the old home run record of 23.
“We got to set the new school home run record…which is a nice cool jump but I’m proud of what Annika was putting out there on the mound and we’re swinging the bat well still,” W.F. West coach Caty Lieseke said. “Some really just awesome kids. They put in the time, day in, day out, week in, week out, just makes that happen. There’s never a doubt in my mind, any at bat, that this kid might put it out of the park and that’s awesome.”
Ashlyn Whalen set the new individual regular season record with 10 home runs, breaking the record of nine home runs held by Roni Braun in 2016.
“It feels pretty good,” Whalen said.
Whalen hit a 2-run home run in the first inning to claim the record, but wasn’t focused on that during the game.
“Actually, I was more focused on getting around the bases first and touching home plate,” Whalen said. “Me and Ashlee (Vadala) have been back and forth, neck and neck so after this, she was just like ‘Oh my god, congrats.’ I just gave her a big hug.”
Vadala tied the previous record with nine home runs this season.
Not only did the Bearcats break the home run record, they also set new regular season marks in runs (262), hits (303), RBIs (240) and slugging percentage (.750).
OJ Dean was 4 for 5 with a home run, four RBIs and two runs and Whalen had three RBIs and two runs. Taylor Barker and Ava Fugate each had 2-run home runs and Ashlee Vadala had two doubles, an RBI and a run.
Whalen attributed the team home run record to the work the Bearcats put in all year.
“We put in a lot of work. All of us are always up at Ken’s on the weekends putting in work and everyone contributes,” Whalen said. “And playing select, most of us play select so that helps out a lot.”
Annika Waring allowed four hits while striking out five in a complete game in the circle for the Bearcats.
Centralia’s Tyler Jorgenson hit an RBI single in the fourth inning to bring home McKenna Smith for the Tigers’ only run of the game.
It was senior night for Centralia, with Smith, Jorgenson, Courtney Leifer-Carlson, Chiara KrugVonNidda and Tayler Bailey all wrapping up their prep softball careers.
“They’re a pretty eclectic group of seniors this year, ranging from a kid who’s never played to a four year starter,” Centralia coach Mike McDonald said. “They’ve gutted it out year in and year out and they were a huge part of this team. McKenna and Courtney were the team leaders and Tyler just got back after a year off and I thought they did a great job.”
McDonald noted he was excited about the future with three juniors and a handful of sophomores and freshman that will be trying to fill the void next season.
Centralia ends the season fifth in the EvCo at 6-13 overall and 5-10 in EvCo games.
The Bearcats finished the regular season as EvCo champs with a 17-3 overall record and 14-1 in EvCo games.
W.F. West enters the District 4 2A Softball Tournament with a lot of momentum and will open the tournament on Thursday at 4 p.m. against the 2A Greater St. Helens League No. 4 seed. A win would put the Bearcats into the semifinals at 6 p.m. against the winner of Rochester and the GSHL’s No. 2 seed.
Aberdeen Edges Rochester
ROCHESTER — Aberdeen scored three runs in the sixth inning to defeat Rochester 3-1 in an Evergreen 2A Conference softball regular season finale here on Thursday.
The Warriors finished the regular season third in the EvCo, 10-9 overall and 7-8 in league games. Rochester begins the district tournament on Wednesday at 4 p.m. against the 2A Greater St. Helens League’s No. 2 seed at Borst Park in Centralia.
Hunter Hahn pitched a complete game for Rochester, allowing one earned run on five hits with no walks and eight strikeouts.
Bella Phelps was 2 for 3 and McKenzie LaPraim had an RBI double in the sixth inning.
Aberdeen’s Ally Troseth hit a bases clearing double in the sixth inning for a 3-0 lead. The Warriors cut the lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the inning but the Bobcats were able to hang on for the win.
Rochester collected five hits in the loss.
“Tough game for us. We just couldn’t get our timing down today,” Rochester coach Dave Montgomery said. “The pitching and defense was there but we just weren’t ourselves at the plate.”
It was senior night for the Warriors’ Hahn, Phelps, Maygan Kohl, Lorissa Dix and Megan Corcoran. Rochester plays a district tune up game on Tuesday at home against Orting.
BEARCATS 13, TIGERS 1 (6 inn.)
W.F. West 203 215 — 13 14
Centralia 000 100 — 1 4 1
Batteries: W.F. West — Annika Waring and Paetynn Lopez; Centralia — Sophie Duffy, Aspen Lilly and Hannah Porter
BOBCATS 3, WARRIORS 1
Aberdeen 000 003 0 — 3 5 2
Rochester 000 001 0 — 1 5 2
Batteries: Aberdeen — McDaniel and R. Glanz; Rochester — Hunter Hahn and Bella Phelps