Touchet torches consolation bracket en route to 3rd-place trophy

The throw to Wishkah's Sam Bernhardy, left, beans Touchet's Cierra McKeown in the batting helmet during first inning action of Sunday's State 1B Softball semifinal in Yakima.  The Indians won 10-0 to advance to the trophy round.

The throw to Wishkah's Sam Bernhardy, left, beans Touchet's Cierra McKeown in the batting helmet during first inning action of Sunday's State 1B Softball semifinal in Yakima. The Indians won 10-0 to advance to the trophy round. Photo by Jeff Horner.

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YAKIMA — After suffering a heart-wrenching 11-10 loss to Almira-Coulee-Hartline on Saturday that knocked Touchet High School out of title contention, the Indians came back with vengeance here Sunday in the final day of the Class 1B state softball championships.

The Indians powered themselves into a third-place trophy with a 10-0 win over Wishkah Valley that got them to a battle for third with the Quilcene Rangers.

Touchet took home third place with a 19-4 win, thus wiping out the memory of 2012 when the Indians lost in the battle for third and fourth and settled for fourth.

“I wasn’t worried about the kids being able to shake off a loss,”Touchet coach Gary Dorman said of the Indians’ loss to A-C-H, the eventual tournament runner-up. “They have responded well all year in tough situations. I was really pleased the way they came out today. They showed a lot of composure.

“There are no guarantees,” Dorman said of taking a state trophy. “You just have to enjoy it. Make sure you understand that it is a game and try to do the best you can. I told these kids at the first practice that we wanted to be playing at 4 on Saturday. We were a day late because of the rain, but they fulfilled that goal that they sat and that they worked for all year.”

TOUCHET 10, WISHKAH VALLEY 0

Harlie Schaeffer got the start in the circle for the Indians and hit the first two Loggerettes she faced.

One out later, Schaeffer issued a walk to load the bases, but she escaped the threat un-scathed as she struck out the next two, and it was all goose eggs from then on for Wishkah Valley.

The Indians went to their speed game in the home first to score twice. Cierra McKeown led off with a bunt single, stole second, stole third, and scored on Melissa Creek’s ground-out. Kristen Warner drew a walk, stole second and third, and scored on Schaeffer’s ground-out.

Touchet put this one out of reach with a five-run second.

With the bases loaded, Schaeffer delivered the key blow with a bases-clearing double and Touchet led 7-0 after two.

Courtney Creek ended it in the bottom of the fifth as her double drove home Morgan Cardwell, who had reached on an error, to cap a three-run Touchet rally and enable the 10-run mercy rule.

TOUCHET 19, QUILCENE 4

In the battle for third, the Rangers got off to a quick start.

A Megan Weller one-out single was followed by a two-run blast over the right field fence by Samantha Rae as Quilcene took a 2-0 lead with the Indians coming to bat.

“Makayla (Bishop, the Indian starter in the circle) worked her heart off yesterday and caught the first game today,” Dorman said. “She got her rhythm after that and felt better after we got four runs on the board for her.”

The Indians got Bishop her four runs in the home first. A McKeown bunt single, two walks, and Schaeffer’s two-run single opened the flood gates and the Rangers had no answers.

Rae, who started in the circle, had just pitched the Rangers into the battle for third with a complete game 5-4 win over Selkirk. She ran out of energy and the Rangers had to go to an inexperienced bullpen in the second and the Indians took advantage as the lead swelled to 10-0 after two.

Touchet sent 10 hitters to the plate in the second, took advantage of four walks and a hit batsman to score six runs on two hits — Schaeffer’s infield single and Bishop’s two-run bloop base hit.

The hits and walks kept coming. The Indians sent 10 hitters to the plate in the third and tacked on six more. Schaeffer’s three hits, and McKeown and Bishop’s two each led the Indian attack as Touchet plated 19 runs on 11 hits to earn the third place trophy.

“I was proud of all the kids,” Dorman said. “They did a great job.”

First baseman Warner and left fielder Lexi Sturm ended their Indian careers with the third-place finish.

“When Lexi started as a freshman, she was pretty raw around the edges,” Dorman said. “She is a workaholic. She worked herself into a good athlete.

“Kristen is a complete softball player,” Dorman added. “I don’t think we’ve had a first baseman that has saved our infielders more errors than Kristen has. They were the heart and soul this year and will be hard to replace. I appreciate all the work they put in to make us a good ball club.”

TOUCHET 10, WISHKAH VALLEY 0

WV 000 00 — 0 4 2

Touchet 250 03 — 10 6 0

Louthan and H. Olson; Schaeffer and Bishop.

Hits — WV: Bernhardy 2, H. Olson, Ancich; Tou: McKeown, M. Creek, Schaeffer, Aceves, Bishop, C. Creek.

TOUCHET 19, QUILCENE 4

Quilcene 202 00 — 4 8 6

Touchet 466 3x — 19 11 1

Rae, Kieffer (2) and Weller, Ward (2); Bishop and C. Creek.

HR — Quil: Rae.

Hits — Quil: Weller 2, Rae, Bailey, Mason, Hughes, Jones, Ward; Tou: McKeown 2, Schaeffer 3, Bishop 2, C. Creek, Gould, Big Sorrel Horse, Dowty.

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