CONNELL, Wash. — When the dust settled, College Place earned its second trip in three years to the State 1A Softball Tournament in district softball action here Saturday.
The Hawks did it the hard way.
In the battle for a state spot, Royal scored in the bottom of the seventh to pull out an 8-7 win and drop the Hawks into a loser out battle with Connell.
The Hawks romped behind the two-hit pitching of Paris Orchard to a 11-0 win and earned their state ticket.
In a battle with Cle Elum for the thrid district seed to the state tourney, Cle Elum, after the Hawks rallied with a seventh inning run to tie it at 5-5 and put up a two-spot in the top of the eighth, Cle Elum struck three times in the home eighth to snatch an 8-7 win and take the third seed and drop the Hawks into the fourth seed to state
College Place will open state play at the Columbia Play Fields in Richland Friday.
In the opening loss to Royal, the Hawks got it tied at 7-7 with two in the sixth.
The Knights came up clutch in the home seventh to drop College Place into an elimination battle with Connell.
Ellie Christensen led the Hawk offense with three hits.
Paris Orchard and Jordan Holso each added two hits to the Hawk 10-hit attack.
“Didn’t go the way we wanted,” CP coach Corey Davis said. “We didn’t make the plays we needed to in the big pressure situations. We hit the ball pretty well, unfortunately, it was us that made the last mistake.”
Behind an Ellie Christensen two-run home run to highlight a six-run Hawk fourth, and Paris Orchrd’s pitching, the Hawks rebounded to keep their season alive and punch a state ticket with an 11-0 win over Connell.
A five-run Hawk second was all Paris Orchard would need in the Hawk circle.
Paris Orchard and Ellie Christensen with two hits each led the Hawk attack.
“It was great to get that pressure of clinching the trip to state off our backs,” Davis added. “We had put ourselves in a good position to get to state today (Saturday), but still, until you do it, there is some pressure.”
Ellie Christensen got the Hawks off on the right foot in the battle for the third seed. Christense blasted another two-run homer in the first to stake the Hawks to a 2-0 lead.
The Hawks added one in the third to grab a 3-0 lead but Cle Elum struck with a four-spot in the home third to take a 4-3 lead.
Cle Elum would tack on one for a 5-4 advantage after six, but the Hawks would rise to the occasion and get it tied 5-5 at the end of regulation.
The Hawks plated two in the eighth but couldn’t hang on as Cle Elum scored three to pull out the 8-7 win and take the third seed.
Paris Orchard went all the way in the circle as she pitched every inning on the day. Paris Orchard finished strong as she fanned 13 Cle Elum hitters in the extra inning battle.
Paris Orchard led the offense with five hits, giving her nine hits on the afternoon.
“We played pretty well against them,” Davis summarized. “This was a great back and forth game between two state bound teams. It just didn’t quite go our way.”
A draw will be held to determine the Hawks’ playing time and opponent in Richland Friday in the opening round of the 2019 State Class 1A Softball Tournament.
“All in all a good day,” Davis concluded. “We’ll take a 16-7 record to Friday.”
Royal 8, College Place 7
P. Orchard and N. Orchard; Sanchez and Rincon.
HR — none.
Hits — CP: P. Orchard 2, N. Orchard, E. Christensen 3, Mendoza, Holso 2, Guttierrez; Royal: Mercado, Wardenaar, Garcia, Sanchez, Rincon, Niebla.
College Place 11, Connell 0
Corrigan, Turner (3) and Reed; P. Orchard and N. Orchard.
HR — CP: E. Christensen.
Hits — Connell: Ochoa, Tuttle; CP: P. Orchard 2, N. Orchard, E. Christensen 2, Holso, G. Sanchez, Gutierrez, A. Sanchez.
Cle Elum 8, College Place 7
P. Orchard and N. Orchard; Howard and Terrill.
HR — CP: E. Christensen; Cle Elum: Lombardi.
Hits — CP: P. Orchard 5, N. Orchard, E. Christensen, Holso, G. Sanchez, Gutierrez; Cle Elum: K. Nass 3, Terrill 2, Lombardi, Vaughan, N. Baker, Wait, M. Nass.