In a loser-out thriller, Redmond beat Newport, 21-13, in the 4A Wes-King District softball tournament on May 15 in Everett.
In the see-saw game at Phil Johnson Fields — which Newport tied at 13-13 in the bottom of the sixth inning — Redmond scored eight runs in the top of the seventh to secure the win.
Redmond led 8-7 after three innings, Newport held a 12-9 advantage after five innings and Redmond went up 13-12 in the top of the sixth.
Offensive fireworks included six home runs — three for each squad — and 30 total hits. For Redmond (23-2 overall at press time), Haley Hanson had four hits and three RBIs, Jennifer Cummings homered twice to go along with her three hits and seven RBIs, Lindsay Tsujikawa homered, Camille Eaton had two hits and two RBIs and Audrey Walker and Kaia Bradford had two hits each.
“Hats off to both teams, they both played great games,” said Newport head coach Parris Mamon, a former Redmond skipper who remains close with Mustang head coach Alison Mitchell (his former assistant at Redmond). Newport beat Redmond, 20-4, earlier this month.
Redmond also beat Glacier Peak, 4-2, and Woodinville, 8-7, in loser-out battles to qualify for the state tournament, which will be held May 24-25 in Spokane.
The game on May 15 was halted when the lights were turned off in the top of the seventh inning. Redmond led 7-6 before Woodinville came to bat. A spokesman at Phil Johnson Fields said the city ordinance states that field lights must be turned off at 10 p.m. The lights went out at about 9:45 p.m. when the system shut down.
The game resumed on May 16 at Lake Washington High and Woodinville tied the game in its first at-bat of the day on a two-out homer. In the bottom of the seventh with the bases loaded — after an intentional walk to Cummings — and two outs with a full count, Tsujikawa’s choppy grounder to third base scored Eaton to send the Mustangs on in the tourney and end Woodinville’s season.
In the May 15 portion of the game, Kiki Milloy homered, Cummings had two doubles and a triple, Lauren Lund had two hits and Tsujikawa had three RBIs.
Redmond coach Mitchell discussed the Mustangs’ journey in the district tournament following the Woodinville game, heading into the winner-to-state game against Glacier Peak on May 17:
“I am so proud of the team and how they have responded to adversity. Especially Kiki. She has gutted out and pitched two difficult games against teams that can hit the ball. I believe she threw over 300 pitches in those two games and I know she was gassed,” she said. “Our bats and her grit gave us the opportunity for another state berth and I am so excited to see how the kids battle now. They’re a group that’s battle tested and ready to face challenges together.”
Cummings said the Mustangs faced new terrain in going the loser-out route, but felt it was one of the most rewarding experiences she’s had with her Redmond team in fighting for every victory.
“Seeing how everyone came out and banded together. Every single one of those wins was a team win. Seeing how everyone fought for each other was really cool and gives me a lot of confidence going into the state tournament,” she said.
This week, they’ll continue to practice hard, reinforce fundamentals and get in copious swings from the batter’s box.
Milloy said the Mustangs are thrilled to make state and overcame a bit of a rough patch — with losses to Bothell to begin districts and to Newport in the KingCo tournament — in paving their road to Spokane.
“We battled and we came back, and I think I’m just really super proud of my team and all of the fight that we gave. We earned this state berth and I think we’re gonna make the most of it,” said Milloy, noting that the three district wins were tight, and those games challenged the Stangs to succeed.
“When we come out and win those tough games, it just proves to everyone that we are who we say we are and we’re gonna keep doing that over and over again,” she said.
After pitching all four games at districts, Milloy said her arm is a little tired and her voice is a bit worn from all the yelling and celebrating. With a laugh, she noted that she’s got a whole week to recover and she’ll be ready for state.