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Jefferson fastpitch finishes 1-2 at state tournament
Thomas Jefferson’s trip to the Class 4A State Fastpitch Tournament ended a day earlier than the Raiders had hoped.
Jefferson (18-8) finished 1-2 Friday in the school’s third trip to the two-day state fastpitch tournament at the South End Recreation Area in Tacoma. The Raiders last played at state during the 2007 season, where they also fell short of winning a trophy.
The Raiders were knocked into the consolation bracket after dropping their opener to the Redmond Mustangs, 6-1. Jefferson came back later in the day to beat the Kamiakin Braves, 4-3, with two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, but were knocked out of the tournament late Friday night by Stanwood, 5-1.
The Raiders just couldn’t get anything going offensively against Redmond right-hander Erika Hendron in their tournament opener Friday afternoon. The senior held Jefferson to only one hit during her seven innings of work.
The Raiders’ lone run came in the top of the sixth inning when Lexi Goranson crossed the plate to cut the Redmond lead to 2-1. But the Mustangs came right back in the bottom of the sixth to tally four runs and put the game away. Redmond, the champions of the KingCo Conference, got three RBIs from Jenny Eisenmann and two hits from Maria Reisinger and Emily Squiers.
But the Raiders came back Friday afternoon by playing one of the most exciting games of the tournament against the Kamiakin Braves in the consolation bracket to grab a come-from-behind, 4-3 victory.
Trailing 3-2 entering the bottom of the seventh inning and their season on the line, the Raiders responded with a pair of runs to stay alive in the tournament.
The tying run was scored by Jefferson on a perfectly executed suicide squeeze bunt by senior third baseman Jayme Carbon. Second baseman Cassidy DeWaele followed with a game-winning hit to give the Raiders the walk-off win Friday afternoon in Tacoma.
Senior pitcher Jessica Dickson was solid on the mound during the game for Jefferson. The left-hander allowed only two hits to Kamiakin, but was hurt by three Raider errors in the field.
The Braves jumped out to a quick lead with one run in the top of the first inning off Dickson. But the Raiders responded with two runs of their own in the second. Kamiakin pushed two runs across in the fourth to take the lead back, 3-2, which is how it stayed until the seventh.
Jefferson mustered eight hits during the game and were also aided by five Kamiakin errors.
The Raiders couldn’t keep the momentum going late Friday night against Stanwood. The Spartans tallied four runs in the top of the first inning and pitcher Brittany Jeans held the Raiders to only two hits, while striking out 11.
Jefferson’s only run of the game came in the bottom of the first inning when Raider leadoff hitter, Hannah Kiyohara, tripled and later scored. But that was the highlight of the night for TJ.
The state tournament ends the stellar careers of seniors Erin Fujita, Carbon and Dickson. The threesome led the Raiders to an 18-8 overall record this season and a third-place finish in the rugged South Puget Sound League North Division. Fujita, an outfielder/first baseman, led the Raiders’ offense all season and was one of the most feared hitters in the SPSL during her career. Fujita finished with a career average of .491 and is headed to Hawaii Pacific University in the fall.
Carbon, a third baseman, will attend Eastern Washington in the fall to play golf. She was a four-year letter winner for the Raider fastpitch team and a three-time, All-SPSL selection. Dickson was TJ’s starting pitcher the last two seasons and racked up 14 wins this season on the mound.