ELMA — Stellar pitching and one big inning gave Wishkah’s girls a third successive state softball berth.
Doing all their scoring in the fifth inning, the Loggerettes rode the four-hit pitching of Teagan Louthan to take the District IV Class 1B Softball Tournament with a 3-1 win over Taholah on Saturday at Elma’s Eagle Field.
Wishkah had advanced to the title game earlier in the day with a 9-6 win over Oakville. Taholah beat Lake Quinault, 10-2, in the other semifinal.
The Loggerettes (10-4) earned the district’s lone state berth. They also appeared in the 2011 and 2012 tournaments. The state 1B tourney is scheduled for May 24-25 at Yakima.
With Louthan and Taholah pitcher Kaleana Quilt in top form (neither issued a walk), the championship game was scoreless until the fifth.
Then Wishkah’s Ally Ancich singled and eventually scored on a two-out single by eighth-grader Emily Merrill. Sam Bernhardy, a hitting standout in both games, followed with a two-run double to make it 3-0.
Louthan, who struck out 13, took a two-hitter into the seventh, but Desiree Markishtum doubled and scored on Rihanna Logan’s two-out single before Louthan struck out the final batter.
Wishkah coach Tove Reibel said her team’s tenacity was one of the keys to the triumph.
“We had errors and they had people on base, but we did not let them get us down,” she said. “We stayed focused and got out of those innings and that was important for us.
“It was a hard fight,” she added. “I commend Taholah. They had some great players out there and they were working hard, too.”
The Chitwhins finished their season at 6-6.
“We just made a couple of fundamental errors that got us down,” Taholah coach Freida Waugh said.
Trish Dunn homered and doubled to pace Taholah’s victory over Lake Quinault. Dunn’s three-run homer occurred after an Elk error kept the inning alive.
“Our three errors cost us seven runs,” Quinault coach Darwin Sharrah said.
Sharrah cited the pitching of Mikaila Blackburn, plus the play of Alex Kelly, Hannah Allen and Espy Silva. Kelly, an eighth-grader, finished the season with a .487 average.
“The young girls really did a great job,” Sharrah said. “We had five girls who had never played at all before this year.”
Bernhardy’s four RBIs helped Wishkah turn back stubborn Oakville in the semifinals.
“Our team played really a hard-fought game,” said Acorn coach Casey Doyle. “My kids played really hard and I’m proud of them for that.”
Wishkah faces Quilcene in a non-league game Monday.
LQ 000 200 0 — 2 7 3 Tah 143 020 x — 10 7 1
Blackburn, Mullins (6) and Kelly; Quilt and Markishtum.
RBI: Lake Quinault — E. Silva, Thomas. Taholah — Dunn 3, Walther 2, Vitalis. Two hits: Lake Quinault — Allen, Silva. Taholah — Dunn. Home runs: Taholah — Dunn. Doubles: Taholah — Dunn, Cheney, Markishtum.
Winning pitcher — Quilt (walked none; struck out six). Losing pitcher — Blackburn (walked four; struck out five).
Oak 001 203 0 — 6 3 2 Wish 043 020 x — 9 7 3
Bramer and McElvain: Louthan and H. Olson.
RBI: Oakville — Klatush 2. Wishkah — Bernhardy 4, H. Olson, Louthan. Three hits: Wishkah — H. Olson. Two hits: Oakville — McElvain. Wishkah — Bernhardy. Triples: Oakville — Klatush. Doubles: Wishkah — Bernhardy, Olson.
Winning pitcher — Louthan (walked two; struck out 10). Losing pitcher — Bramer (walked nine; struck out four).
Wish 000 030 0 — 3 6 4 Tah 000 000 1 — 1 4 3
Louthan and H. Olson; Quilt and Markishtum.
RBI: Wishkah — Bernhardy 2, Merrill. Taholah — Logan. Two hits: Wishkah — Emily Merrill. Taholah — Quilt, Markishtum. Doubles: Wishkah — Bernhardy.
Winning pitcher — Louthan (walked none; struck out 13). Losing pitcher — Quilt (walked none; struck out six).