After winning the first state title in program history, the Liberty Christian High School softball players had different ideas on what they would do afterward.
Kiersten Peterson, Raylene Monteith and Liv Kelly got in the car right after their 10-2 victory over Almira/Coulee-Hartline and headed to the airport for their senior trip to Orlando, Fla.
Bella Loera’s plans were a little more laid-back.
“I’m gonna go to sleep for two days,” she said via telephone.
Loera earned her shut-eye after the Patriots, making their first state appearance, won three Class 1B tournament games in two days at Gateway Sports Complex in Yakima.
Liberty Christian (21-4) is the fourth 1B fastpitch champion in state history, following Curlew (2007), Touchet (2008) and Colton (2009-14). The Wildcats’ reign ended with Friday’s 9-4 semifinal loss to ACH (17-6).
Though Liberty Christian defeated ACH 11-1 in a regional semifinal game May 23 in Medical Lake, the Patriots weren’t about to overlook the team that toppled the six-time defending state champion.
“We knew they could still come out and beat us, but we had confidence in how we play,” Peterson said.
Peterson, who pitched a pair of four-hitters to beat Wishkah Valley and Sunnyside Christian on Friday, was dynamite again in the final. She gave up five hits and struck out four in her complete-game win.
“She put the ball where I told her to put it,” third-year LC coach Jacob Bush said. “It was a beautiful thing. We played stellar defense.”
The Patriots also had another strong day at the plate. Kelly went 4-for-4 with two RBIs, while Jillian Sitsler and Melody Bush each had three hits. Loera, who had five hits Friday, went 2-for-5, and freshman Katie Steele homered.
Liberty Christian outscored its state opponents 36-3.
“Honestly, if I didn’t think we were gonna do it, we wouldn’t play the season,” Bush said. “I knew this was the group of girls to do it with. They’re very dedicated. They were out there practicing by themselves two weeks before the season started. They earned it.”
Meanwhile, Sunnyside Christian (14-11) was eliminated earlier in the day with a 6-4 loss to Quilcene, which beat Colton 10-4 for third place.
Kiersten Peterson and Katie Steele; Dani Hayes and Bailey Zappone. Jillian Sitsler (LC) 3x4, 2R, RBI; Bella Loera (LC) 2x5, R, RBI; Katie Steele (LC) 2x4, HR, 2 RBIs; Raylene Monteith (LC) 3B; Melody Bush (LC) 3x4, 2R, RBI; Liv Kelly (LC) 4x4, 2R, 2 RBIs; Peterson (LC) 7IP-5H-2R-1BB-4K; Andrea Olson (ACH) 2x4, R; Emma Dingman (ACH) 2 RBIs; Zappone (ACH) 2B.
CLASS 1A: Connell finished fourth, losing to Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls) 7-4 at Columbia Playfield in Richland.
The Eagles came back from a first-round loss to La Center and won two games Friday. They started the second day of action by beating Cle Elum/Roslyn 10-8 and Seattle Christian 13-11.
Connell ended with a 25-4 record.
Montesano beat Hoquiam 7-1 to win its first state title since 2009.
CLASS 2A: The Othello Huskies rebounded from a semifinal loss to take third place at Carlon Park in Selah.
After falling 5-1 to eventual champion W.F. West, Othello beat CWAC rival Selah 10-6 to reach the third-/fourth-place game against Woodland.
The Huskies romped to an 8-1 victory for their third consecutive trophy finish. Othello was third in 2013 and second last year.
CLASS 2B: Dayton, DeSales and Warden were eliminated in consolation play in Yakima.
Dayton fell to Adna 13-0 in a five-inning quarterfinal Friday night. After beating Brewster 7-3 the next morning, Dayton (25-12) suffered a season-ending, 10-8 loss to Colfax.
DeSales, which lost to Toutle Lake 13-3 in the quarterfinals, went 1-1 on the final day of state. The Irish swept aside Liberty Bell 9-3, then fell to Morton-White Pass 7-6 to finish the year with a 20-5 record.
Warden lost 7-0 in its morning game against Colfax. The Cougars (22-4) bowed out of the tournament with a 1-2 record.
Savannah McFarland, Madison Mings (4) and Mings, Taylor Frame (4); Samantha Rolfe, Jenikka Poppe (5) and Kendra Stadjuhar. Highlights: Josey Sandrini (A) 2H; Shanay Dotson (A) 2H; Cheyenne Gilbertson (A) HR; Katelyn Pine (A) 2H.