All three Auburn area high school softball programs were in action in the 3A West Central District Tournament down in Lacey, which took place May 18 and May 20. All three lost their opening round game, but found a way to stay alive, winning their second games.
To start, Auburn Riverside had the early slate at the Regional Athletic Center on May 18. The Ravens entered as the number two seed and took on 15th-seeded Heritage High School out of Vancouver.
The Ravens got out a slow start, only scoring two runs, and fell to the Timberwolves, 9-2. The two runs is just the third time all season Riverside has been held to under three runs. The Ravens scattered six hits in the ball game, but a four-run fifth inning from Heritage really hurt the Ravens’ chance at a comeback.
Going into the fifth, Riverside only trailed 3-2. But they were able to get hot late in the tournament. After the first round loss, they rebounded and pounded Silas 12-2 to stay alive and get to Saturday. Four different Ravens had two RBI in the 12-2 win: Bailee Brader, Aubree Muxen, Saige Aarstad and Ashley Langford. Langford was the only Raven to send a ball over the fence in the win.
The Ravens also took on Prairie to keep their season alive and took down the Falcons 4-3. Starting pitcher Danica Butler had the big hit in this one back in the second with a 2-RBI single to tie the game at 2-2. Brader broke the tie with a single of her own, and after two, the Ravens had and would keep the lead.
In Riverside’s fourth game of the tournament, they had a chance to advance to state with a win over the Evergreen Plainsmen. The Ravens took a 6-2 lead into the fifth inning and gave up six runs over the next three innings, losing the game 8-6. On offense, Ravens second baseman Jossy Taylor had a great performance, going 2-4 with four RBI.
In the final game of the losers bracket, Riverside took on Timberline, a team that had beaten Auburn two games before. Unfortunately for the Ravens, the Blazers kept their momentum going and won 10-0 in what would be the final game of the Ravens’ season. Timberline scored six in the first, with three of the runs scored on errors with two outs in the inning.
Auburn High School had an unfavorable start to the district tournament. The Trojans took on Prairie and lost 10-0 to start. But the Trojans played great in their second game against Lincoln from Tacoma.
The Trojans defeated Lincoln, which was the sixth seed, 10-5, backed behind a solid performance from catcher Ryan Truitt, who tallied four hits, two RBI and two runs scored. Hannah Browne had a good day in the circle as well against the Abes. She went all seven innings, struck out three and only gave up three earned runs.
In the third game of the Trojan tournament, they lost to eventual state qualifying team, Timberline, 10-0, in five innings.
Auburn Mountainview entered the WCD tournament as the number seven seed and took on Evergreen to open up the tournament. The game against the Plainsmen was a lot closer than the 17-9 final score would indicate.
Both teams traded blows in the first four innings. Going into the top of the fifth, both sides were locked at 7-7. But a five-run fifth inning proved to be the number that the Lions couldn’t respond to. Brynna Erdmann went 4-5 in the contest with two runs scored. Zoey Murph had three hits and three RBI and Melanie Duran also had three hits in the loss.
The next Lion game was against 16-seeded River Ridge High School. The Lions dominated and won 11-6 over the Falcons. Duran was on it again at theplate scoring two runs with a sacrifice fly and a single. Addy Thibeault-Miranda was really good in the circle for Auburn Mountainview — she went four innings and allowed just a single run for the Lions.
In the third game, the Lions met the Gig Harbor Tides. Auburn Mountainview struck first in the top of the second on a Thibeault-Miranda home run. But in the Gig Harbor half of the third, the Tides scored three runs to take the lead and never looked back. From the third to the sixth, the Tides scored a run in every inning.
All three schools fought hard in districts, but just couldn’t make the leap to the state tournament.