RICHLAND — The Cascade and Okanogan softball teams had similar showings on Friday at the first day of the 1A state tournament, held at Columbia Playfield.
The Kodiaks and Bulldogs won their first games, lost their second contests and rebounded to post victories in their third match-ups to keep their respective seasons alive.
Cascade will take on Elma on Saturday morning in a consolation game, while Okanogan will face Hoquiam. The Caribou Trail League rivals could face each other in the third-fourth place game if they advance that far.
The Kodiaks started out with a 2-1 win over Columbia-Burbank.
The Coyotes tied the game with a run in the third inning, and the game remained scoreless until the bottom of the sixth inning, when Kendra Key singled and eventually came round to score on an error.
Cascade pitcher Taliyah Riddick-Waters escaped a bases-loaded jam in the seventh frame by ending the contest with a strikeout.
“It was a lot closer game that we cared to see,” Kodiaks coach Ken Krous said. “But we felt pretty good (about the win).”
The Kodiaks weren’t able to carry that momentum into their next contest against Montesano, however. They mustered just three hits and committed six errors, and Montesano ended the contest in five innings.
“(Our defensive play) was uncharacteristic,” Krous said. “(Montesano) was fast, and they put the ball in play and forced things, and we didn’t respond very well. They kept the pressure up, and once they got runners on base, they moved them up. They played a lot of small ball and forced us to make plays, and they scored runs when they needed to. They’re a good ballclub.
“(Montesano pitcher Madison Didion) wasn’t overpowering; we flew out 10 times. We kept popping the ball up. It’s a pretty easy game to win if (the other team) is hitting easy fly balls to people.” Cascade extended its season in its ensuing loser-out contest, beating Mount Baker 10-3.
Key led the Kodiaks’ 14-hit attack with three hits, including a double. Hannah Cowan, Sydney Coffin and Sierra Guthrie tallied two hits apiece for the Kodiaks.
“We took a lot better approach in this game,” Krous said. “We hit the ball solid and just started playing our game. We ran the bases well and stole some bases. We got back to having fun out there.
“We were disappointed with the Montesano game, but we showed a lot of heart (against Mount Baker). We proved that we are one of the best teams in the state. We wanted to finish (the day) strong and live to see another day. I know that (our players) want to leave it all out on the field (Saturday) with no regrets and give it all they have and let the chips fall where they may. I’m proud of them. They’ve worked really hard. Whatever happens (Saturday) happens, but they’re champions in my mind.”
The Bulldogs opened their day with a 19-6 victory over River View.
Okanogan then lost to Woodland 2-0, but bounced back to post a 9-4 victory over Seattle Christian to advance to Saturday’s play.
Bulldogs coach Darin Radke didn’t return a phone call from the World seeking further information.