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Tomahawk softball wins districts
MONROE The Marysville fastpitch team was written off by preseason polls, picked to finish in the cellar of the Western Conference.
But with a 1-0 win over a highly-touted Monroe program in districts at Skykomish River Park May 16, the Tomahawks proved the naysayers wrong, earning their first trip to state since 2004.
Monroe pitcher Jordan Birch is the kind of girl who can throw 15 strikeouts a game, like she did against M-P. But senior shortstop Kristina Sherriff got the team's first hit against Birch, making it to first base on a sneaky bunt in the fifth inning. Freshman Megan Rollings batted her in on a base hit to right field to give the Tomahawks the game-winning run. The Marysville win was Monroe's third loss of the season and the second at the hand of the Tomahawks.
Sherriff, who batted 2-for-4 against Monroe, was in tears at the end of the game.
"It's just so surprising. We proved everyone wrong," she said of the Tomahawks' surge to state. "We were toughing it out. I think we're peaking right now."
Despite temperatures in the 80s and relentless sun, the Tomahawks endured their second game of the day against Monroe, after defeating Mountlake Terrace in the district opener. The girls followed it up by defeating Jackson 4-2 in the district championship game the next day, May 17. Freshman Riley Fritz pitched all three games for M-P.
"It is nice to beat a team that's really good. But (winning) with these girls is really sweet," said M-P coach KT Allyn, who has coached the Tomahawks to state 12 times since the program started at M-P in 1992. "This team really did focus on what they needed to do every day."
Of the team's state prospects, she added, "The team that plays the best wins over the best team."
M-P opens its state tournament run May 23 against Rogers of Puyallup at SERA Fields in Tacoma. For the complete bracket, visit the WIAA website at www.wiaa.com/athletics/softball.