Sports

Jefferson fastpitch qualifies for state

The Jefferson fastpitch team will make its first trip to the state tournament in school history after taking the third seed out of last weekend’s West Central District tournament.

Jefferson will play Eastlake at 9 a.m. Friday in the first round of the state tournament at the South End Recreation Area Fields in Tacoma.

The tournament wraps up with the state championship game at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. The Raiders need to win their first three matches to get to the title game.

Jefferson qualified for state after winning its first two games at the West Central District tournament on Friday at Sprinker Recreation Center near Tacoma.

Jefferson opened the tournament with a convincing 10-4 win over Olympia, then followed that with a 1-0 win over South Kitsap.

In the early game Saturday, the Raiders lost to Enumclaw 8-2, but then came back to beat Skyview 3-0 for the third seed.

Senior Natasha Lindsey pitched the win against Skyview. It was her third win of the four-game tournament.

“I’ve gone four or five games before at tournaments,” Lindsey said. “My legs get tired, but that’s about it.”

In the 1-0 win against South Kitsap that assured Jefferson a trip to state, the Raiders scored in the first inning and that was the only run they would get. Senior firstbaseman Erin Johnson scored when senior catcher Tawnya Guthrie hit an RBI single in the first inning. Behind the pitching of Lindsey, the Raiders held on for the narrow victory.

“A win is a win, even if it’s ugly,” Jefferson coach Kevin Hanis said. “The planets were aligned weird this week, so maybe that’s what happened. These teams are here because they’re good.”

The Decatur fastpitch team was eliminated from the West Central District tournament after losing both games on Friday. Decatur opened the tournament with a 3-2 loss to Skyview, then followed that with a heartbreaking 9-8 loss to Bellarmine Prep in 11 innings.

But the season for Decatur was an impressive turnaround, considering last year the team won just one game.

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