RICHLAND — The Caribou Trail League sent two teams to the 1A softball state tournament. Both teams failed to advance Saturday.
Cascade and Okanogan finished the tournament at 2-2, and will head back to North Central Washington empty-handed.
The Kodiaks traded blows with Elma for the first three innings Saturday until Cascade couldn’t sustain its offensive production and fell behind, ultimately losing 11-6.
“(Elma) just kept chipping away,” Cascade head coach Ken Krous said. “A couple times they hit the ball hard, but for the most part they made contact and just hit it where we weren’t.”
The Eagles scored two runs in their half of the first stanza, but the Kodiaks answered with a run of their own in the bottom half. Then Cascade scored four runs in the second to establish a 5-2 lead.
“We started really hitting, putting some pressure on them,” Krous said. “We started having fun.”
But the Eagles were not to be stopped. Elma, which is located about 30 miles west of Olympia, tied the game with a run in the bottom of the third, and then scored at least a run in the remaining four innings as the Kodiaks’ offense was stifled after an Elma pitching change.
“We didn’t make adjustments very well,” Krous said about the pitching change. “(Pitcher Brooke Goldsmith) threw inside a lot more and we just didn’t adjust very well.” Krous said the game played a lot closer than the score indicates.
“That game could’ve been a one-run game and could’ve went either way,” the coach said. “There were a lot of ups and downs — a lot of roller coasters — but we weren’t able to get that roller coaster going down in our direction. That’s the game of softball, it happens sometimes.”
Despite the loss, the Kodiaks still had an impressive season, finishing 24-5.
“Not many people can say (they won that many games),” Krous said. “…They played their hearts out and I’ve been proud of them all season. They battled and battled and this is just a great group of kids.”
Okanogan lost to Hoquaim 15-1 in a loser-out matchup on Saturday.
Okanogan head coach Darin Radke did not return phone calls seeking comment.
Pateros lost both of its state tournament games Saturday in Yakima.
Pateros lost its first game against Touchet 3-1, then lost to Quilcene 7-4 in the nightcap.
“I felt like we could play with any of those teams,” Pateros head coach Sheri Mortimer said. “We just made mental errors that hurt us.”
The Nannies finish the season 19-5, with a 15-0 mark in NCW 2B League play.