RICHLAND — Montesano’s softball team returned home from its 16th consecutive state appearance with a third-place trophy.
Rebounding from a semifinal loss, the Bulldogs won their final two games to take third in the state 1A tourney that concluded Saturday at Richland.
Following a 5-0 loss to eventual champion Connell in the semifinals, the Bulldogs eliminated rival Hoquiam, 9-2, before topping Lakeside of Nine Mile Falls, 11-3, in the game to decide third and fourth.
Hoquiam split its two Saturday contests, trouncing Okanogan, 15-1, before bowing out to Montesano.
Elma also split, beating Cascade of Leavenworth, 11-6 but losing to Lakeside, 15-5.
Peaking in postseason play, the Bulldogs finished with a 17-11 season record. Hoquiam concluded at 20-7, while Elma closed out its season at 22-6.
Bobbi Fry and Justine Nuckols each delivered three hits in Montesano’s win over Lakeside. The Bulldogs also owned a regular-season win over the Eastern Washington club.
Fry’s leadoff triple, Courtney Swan’s RBI double and Staci Schneider’s sacrifice fly in the first inning gave Monte a lead it never relinquished.
Schneider added a two-run double in the third, while Megan Choate doubled and Pua Cavanah delivered an RBI single in the fourth for a 6-0 lead.
Schneider went the distance in the pitching circle.
The Bulldogs capitalized on aggressive baserunning and Hoquiam errors to eliminate the Grizzlies. Hoquiam committed seven errors.
“They used their speed and we did not handle it very well,” HHS coach Keith Reynvaan said.
Schneider’s two-run single in the third inning, scoring Fry and Makenzi Howard, snapped a 1-1 tie. Fry doubled later in the contest.
Madison Didion pitched a complete game for the victory.
Connell pitching ace Ashley Thompson, a former Grays Harbor resident and youth fastpitch standout, threw a one-hitter against the Bulldogs in the semifinals.
Lexi Prante’s double in the sixth was the lone Montesano hit.
Kayla Hilliard drove in five runs — four with a grand slam in the second inning — to highlight Hoquiam’s rout of Okanogan.
Winning pitcher Bailee Bradley helped her own cause with three hits, including two doubles. Katelynn Paladin drove in three runs with a double and a single.
Hilliard, completing an outstanding tournament, had a homer among her two hits against Montesano. She slugged four homers for the tournament.
Reynvaan cited seniors Chelsy Stewart, Jessica Madison, Sam King and Brenna Hansen and assistant coaches Ed Dawson, Cori Schmid and Amber Wilson for their contributions.
“We had a great season,” Reynvaan said. “I was very pleased with the way the girls played this year.”
The Eagles overcame a 5-2 deficit against Cascade. Taylor Wilson singled home Kayla Pacheco with the go-ahead run in the fifth inning.
Elma broke it open with a three-run seventh that included Wilson’s RBI double and Brooke Goldsmith’s run-scoring single.
Goldsmith picked up the win in relief of starter Ashley Cooper.
Lakeside broke open a close game in the late innings to eliminate the Eagles.
Scot Pearson of The Vidette contributed to this story.