It didn’t take long for Meadowdale to rebound from what could have been a crushing loss at the Class 3A state softball tournament.
Leading 4-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning of a quarterfinal matchup, the Mavericks saw their goal of advancing to the semifinals disappear with the swing of a bat. Jamie Phares’ walk-off three-run home run lifted Prairie to a stunning 5-4 victory over Meadowdale.
The Mavericks, however, didn’t have any time to ponder the loss as less than half an hour later they faced Bainbridge in a loser-out game.
Meadowdale jumped on the Spartans early as Emma Helm hit a two-run home run in the first inning and the Mavericks’ offense battered Bainbridge en route to an 12-4 victory Friday evening at the Regional Athletic Complex in Lacey.
“It sparked everyone,” Meadowdale coach Dennis Hopkins said of Helm’s home run. “It got everything going again.”
Haili Taylor hit a two-run home run in the third and McKenzie Beavin followed with another two-run shot in the fifth, which was the Mavericks’ 51st home run this season.
Meadowdale faces Central Kitsap in another loser-out game at 9 a.m., Saturday, May 30. The Mavericks must win three games in order to take third place in the tournament. This is the fourth straight year Meadowdale has advanced to state.
“They’ve only brought one piece of hardware home in the last three,” Hopkins said. “They definitely want to bring it home again. It’s great for the community. They want to do it for everybody.”
Just playing on Saturday is an accomplishment for Meadowdale given the rollercoaster of emotions on Friday.
“The highest of highs, the lowest of lows, all in the same day,” Hopkins said. “You’re up on top and you drop to the bottom and you come back up.”
Hopkins credited Phares for what he said was a good hit.
“They’re a great team,” he said. “Everybody down there is a great team … It was one of those days. They get the hit right at the right time.”
Meadowdale pitcher Samantha Gregoryk had the misfortune of getting hit at the wrong time when she took a line drive off her pitching hand against Prairie. After a few minutes and a few practice pitches, Gregoryk remained in the game and she later made a relief appearance against Bainbridge.
“It’s going to be sore,” Hopkins said of Gregoryk’s hand. “She’s a player.”
Meadowdale (22-4) opened the tournament with a 12-0 victory over Auburn Mountainview. Four Mavericks hits home runs with Julia Reuble hitting two of them. Pitcher Lauren Dent pitched six innings of shutout ball.
– By David Pan