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Five Basin squads move on to state softball tournaments

by IAN BIVONA
Sports Reporter | May 25, 2023 4:52 PM

COLUMBIA BASIN – State tournaments have finally arrived for five local softball teams, with ACH, Moses Lake, Othello, Royal and Warden all moving on to the final weekend of the season in their respective classifications.

Moses Lake (4A State Tournament) - hosted at Columbia Playfield in Richland.

After missing last year’s state tournament, the Mavs are back with a No. 13 seed in the 4A State Softball Tournament, matching up against No. 4 Richland at 11 a.m. on Friday. Moses Lake faced the Bombers earlier this season, an 11-9 loss on April 12 where the Mavs nearly overcame an 11-run deficit after the top of the third inning. On the other hand, Richland enters the state with a 21-2 record and is the champion of the Mid-Columbia Conference tournament.

Moses Lake finished the regular season tied with Eastmont for the regular season title in the Columbia Basin Big-Nine, but a tiebreaker allowed the Wildcats to host the CBBN district tournament where they defeated the Mavs 5-3. In a loser-out game later in the day, the Mavs advanced to the state tournament with a 9-8 win over West Valley (Yakima) in extra innings.

The winner of Friday’s first-round matchup will go on to face the winner of No. 5 Puyallup and No. 12 Eastmont, while the loser faces the loser of the Puyallup/Eastmont game.

Othello (2A State Tournament) - hosted at Carlon Park in Selah.

The 2022 2A state runner-up Huskies are back in the state tournament, holding the No. 5 seed and facing a first-round game against No. 12 Olympic who placed third in the Olympic 2A League tournament.

Olympic enters the state tournament with a 14-9 record, with seven wins in its previous nine games. Othello (18-5) won the Central Washington Athletic Conference regular season title.

Othello fell 11-1 to Selah in the CWAC district title game on May 16, but rallied with a 9-0 win over Clarkston in the District 5/6/8 Crossover on Saturday to claim its spot in the 2A state tournament.

If Othello defeats Olympic in the first round on Friday, they’ll go on to face the winner of No. 4 Selah and No. 13 Enumclaw, while the loser plays the loser of Selah and Enumclaw.

First pitch between the Huskies and Trojans is at 11 a.m. at Carlon Park.

Royal (1A State Tournament) - hosted at Columbia Playfield in Richland.

Coming off a first-round exit as the No. 9 seed in last year’s state tournament, the Royal Knights (22-2) enter the 2023 1A State Softball Tournament with a first-round bye and the No. 2 seed.

Royal will play the winner of No. 7 Columbia (White Salmon) and No. 10 Lynden Christian on Friday.

Columbia also enters the state tournament with a 22-2 record – including winning 18-straight games to begin the season – but fell 12-0 to Montesano in the second round of the 1A District 4 tournament.

Lynden Christian enters the tournament with a 15-11 record, qualifying for state after bouncing back from a semifinal loss to Blaine in the 1A District 1/2 tournament and advancing through the consolation bracket.

Royal previously matched up against two other 1A State Tournament teams earlier this season – a 16-4 win over No. 5 seed Riverside and a 9-1 win over No. 6 seed Deer Park, both games being played on April 8. The Knight’s only two losses this season have come against 4A schools (7-4 loss to Eastmont, 4-0 loss to Moses Lake). The Knights advanced to the 1A state tournament after defeating Naches Valley 18-1 in the South Central Athletic Conference district title game.

First pitch between the Knights and their yet-to-be-determined opponents is at 1 p.m. on Friday.

Warden (2B State Tournament) - hosted at the Gateway Sports Complex in Yakima.

The Cougars are playing in their fifth-straight state tournament, holding the No. 2 seed for the second-straight year and also earning a first-round bye in the process. Warden will play the winner of Thursday’s opening-round game between No. 7 Forks and No. 10 Brewster at 2 p.m. on Friday.

Warden (19-4) began the year 14-0 and swept through league contests in both the regular season and the Eastern Washington Athletic Conference tournament, winning a district title with a 10-5 win over Kittitas on May 19.

Forks (14-7) started the season 13-3 and rebounded from a 9-1 loss to Adna in the 2B District 1/4 tournament to advance to the tournament with a No. 7 seed. For Brewster, the Bears enter the state tournament with a 17-6 record and the runner-up of the Central Washington 2B district tournament.

Warden also earned a No. 2 seed in last year’s state tournament but fell 16-2 to Rainier in the quarterfinal round. In the consolation bracket, the Cougars lost 5-2 to Toledo.

ACH (1B State Tournament) - hosted at the Gateway Sports Complex in Yakima.

The 17-8 Warriors earned the No. 5 seed in the 1B State Softball Tournament, matching up against No. 4 DeSales in the first round.

DeSales (15-10) finished the regular season tied for second place in the Southeast 1B league with an 8-4 record in league play. ACH played DeSales in last week’s 1B District 6/7/9 regional tournament, falling 10-9 in an extra-innings game of the consolation bracket.

To qualify for state, ACH defeated Mary Walker 6-4 to place fifth in the regional tournament and earn a state berth.

The winner of Friday’s first-round game will go on to face the winner of No. 1 Liberty Christian and No. 8 Darrington, while the loser plays the loser of Liberty Christian/Darington.

Ian Bivona is the Columbia Basin Herald’s sports reporter and a graduate of Auburn University. He may be reached at ibivona@columbiabasinherald.com.

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IAN BIVONA/COLUMBIA BASIN HERALD

Royal junior Raegan Wardenaar makes contact with a pitch against Moses Lake on May 15. The Knights are back in the 1A state tournament, this time with a No. 2 seed.

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IAN BIVONA/COLUMBIA BASIN HERALD

Moses Lake junior Mikayla Schwartz stands in the batter’s box during the Columbia Basin Big-Nine district title game on Saturday. Moses Lake is the No. 13 seed in the 4A state tournament.

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IAN BIVONA/COLUMBIA BASIN HERALD

Warden senior Lexi Leinweber pitches against Colfax in a Cougar win on April 19. The Cougars earned the No. 2 seed in the 2B State Softball Tournament.