Bellevue, Juanita, Bainbridge, Kelso advance to state semifinals | 3A Softball
Bellevue is 0-2 against Juanita this softball season. Can the Wolverines advance to the title game?
Seattle Times staff reporter
LACEY — Emily Fleischman hasn't forgotten.
Sure, Bellevue is 0-2 against Juanita this softball season. But the Wolverines did take a game from their KingCo rivals last year.
"We beat them once last year, and I think it's time for us to beat them again," Fleischman said. "They're a very good, competitive team, so it will be good competition for us, a great game."
Bellevue (21-6) gets another shot at the second-ranked Rebels (23-2) Saturday at 9 a.m. in the semifinals of the Class 3A state tournament at the Regional Athletic Complex. No. 7 Bainbridge (21-6) faces Kelso (21-5) in the other semifinal, also at 9 a.m. The winners play for the championship at 2:30 p.m.
The Wolverines advanced on a wet and cold Friday by knocking off No. 6 Bonney Lake, 7-1, and No. 4 Kamiakin of Kennewick, 4-3 in nine innings. Not bad for a team that qualified as the No. 5 seed out of the Sea-King District tournament. That, in fact, is serving as added motivation.
"We want to prove ourselves," Fleischman said.
Juanita beat another KingCo team, Mount Si, to get to the semis. Pitcher Allison Rhodes was two outs away from pitching a five-inning perfect game in that one, holding a 10-0 lead, but then Danielle Massengill blasted a home run. The Rebels wound up winning 10-1 — their fourth win of the season over the Wildcats — as Rhodes finished with a two-hitter, striking out 11. She fanned 18 in a 9-3 victory over No. 5 Everett in the first round.
Rhodes, a junior, watched as the Bellevue-Kamiakin game went extra-innings and said she didn't care who Juanita's next opponent was going to be.
"It's just another game, no matter who we play," she said.
The Rebels are young and should be a title contender again next season, but Rhodes doesn't want to wait.
"I feel we have the team now to go do it, so why not aim big?" she said.
Bainbridge always seems to come up big at state. The Spartans are shooting for a third straight trip to the championship game, winning it all in 2009 and finishing second last season.
"We come to state and we remember how to play softball again," coach Liz McCloskey said. "We believe in ourselves and we know how to play up to this level. That's the best part."
Sophomore pitcher Katie Raben was superb, twirling a pair of shutouts, 8-0 over Peninsula and 6-0 over No. 9 Mount Spokane. She helped her cause against Mount Spokane with a three-run home run.
Kelso is seeking a third straight title after winning back-to-back 4A championships in 2009 and '10. It was wild ride for the Highlanders, who came from behind in both of their games. After dropping top-ranked Holy Names, 14-9 in eight innings, they beat Mountlake Terrace, 6-5, on Jessica Shaw's walkoff home run to lead off the bottom of the seventh.
Mountlake Terrace had tied it in the top of the seventh on a two-out home run by freshman Hannah Baisch, her second homer of the game.
The surprise of the day was Holy Names' quick departure. After the first-round loss to Kelso, the Cougars were eliminated by University of Spokane, 9-8.
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