Prep softball: Mavs clinch District 1 championship

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On the first day of the District 1 3A Softball Tournament on May 14, the Meadowdale Mavericks clinched a berth into the upcoming state tournament with a pair of victories. But the celebration afterward was somewhat subdued — it turned out the Mavs were holding back their jubilation, waiting to let loose after a different goal was achieved.

Meadowdale did get to release all their joy with hugs, cheers and songs on Thursday after capturing the 3A district tourney title with a 5-1 win over the Snohomish Panthers at Phil Johnson Fields in Everett.

Kate Houghton led the No. 1-seeded Mavs in the district tourney championship game with a dazzling pitching performance, retiring the first 15 Panthers she faced before yielding a leadoff single to Janell Williams in the top of the sixth inning. Snohomish, the tourney’s No. 2-seed, got two more hits and a run off of Houghton, but that was all the Panthers would register as the umpires called the game after the final out of the half-inning due to rain.

The team erupted in cheers when they discovered that game had been called and the Mavs were the District 1 champions.

Thursday’s victory also continues a remarkable streak for the Mavs, winners of their last 17 games — all against Wesco League opponents.

Junior Kelci Studioso shared the reasoning for the big celebration after the Thursday’s final out: not losing a game against their league competitors.

“We did not want to lose this game,” she explained. “We were undefeated all season (in Wesco League play) and we did not want to lose that here. It’s not ending here; we’re going undefeated.”

The only four losses for the Mavs this season have been to 4A teams during the early non-league portion of the schedule.

Studioso said that achieving a district title and sweep of Wesco League opponents this year was due in part to some strong character traits among the members of the squad.

“We all our leaders,” Studioso said. “There’s not just one leader, we all lead together with everybody holding each other accountable for everything and everyone being on their A-game all the time. It takes a team, not just one person.”

Meadowdale, with the District 1 trophy in hand, now heads to the WIAA State 3A Softball Tournament that begins on Friday, May 24 in Lacey. This is the team’s sixth trip to state in the past seven seasons; their only absence from the state tourney was last year.

Studioso is relieved that the Mavs are returning to the state tournament this year. “We just want to go to state; that’s the goal every year,” she said. “That’s what we drive to do every year from the beginning, the first game, to the end.”

To view the entire District 1 3A Softball Tournament bracket, click http://www.wescoathletics.com/tournament.php?tournament_id=2891&sport=15.

Prep Softball: Snohomish vs. Meadowdale, May 16 (District 1 3A Softball Tournament Championship Game)

Snohomish   0 0   0 0  0 1 x     — 1

Meadowdale   1 2   0 2  0 x x     — 5

Winning pitcher: Kate Houghton (Meadowdale)

Losing pitcher: Jordan Crawford (Snohomish)

Records: Meadowdale 19-4 overall; Snohomish 19-3 overall

Meadowdale next game: versus opponent to-be-determined; Friday, May 24; at the Regional Athletic Complex in Lacey (round-of-16 game in the WIAA State 3A Softball Tournament)

— By Doug Petrowski

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