KENNEWICK — Overcoming injuries, illness and steaming temperatures, the Elma Eagles captured the state ASA 16-U Class B fastpitch softball championship on Sunday at Kennewick.
The Eagles held off the Kitsap Karma, 8-7, in the winner-take-all second championship game. Elma had downed the Karma 8-1, in the winners bracket final but dropped a 7-3 decision to the same club in the first title contest of the double-elimination tourney.
With Ashley Cooper pitching, the Eagles took an 8-5 lead into the seventh inning. The Karma scored twice before Elma recorded an out, but first baseman Karlynn O’Connor caught a line drive, right fielder Mac Miller chased down a slicing foul fly and Cooper handled a comebacker to the circle to end the game.
Other team members included Izzy Cristelli, Shayla Shumate, Madi Studer, Taylor Wilson, Ashlynn Wakefield, Paige Robecker, Stacia Burbidge and Alyx Marsh.
The Eagles overcame their share of adversity during the tournament. Burbidge missed the final day of the tourney due to illness. Marsh dislocated her ankle on a steal of second base during the championship game. Coach Darci Borden also missed the tourney after injuring herself playing basketball.
“These girls have struggled all year with keeping their heads up and not letting the other teams get to them,” head coach Darrell Miller said. “This weekend, they played with heart and never gave up…They hit better than they’ve hit all the way through the season.”
The state tourney was played in sweltering heat, with temperatures reaching 107 degrees on Sunday.
The Eagles will pass up regionals, scheduled for Idaho.