RICHLAND — The Elma High School fastpitch team won the 1A state championship 6-1 over Mt. Baker on Saturday. The Eagles never trailed in the championship game jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
Earlier Saturday, The Eagles showed some late heroics to beat Connell in the semifinals 6-5 in 8 innings. Trailing 5-2 in the 7th, Brooke Goldsmith tripled, then Sydney Smythe doubled to cut the lead to two before Izzy Cristelli hit a home run to tie the game at 5. Goldsmith scored the winning run in the eighth with another triple to score Karli Smythe.
Elma also looked great on Friday with a 14-0 win over Seattle Christian in five innings. Goldsmith followed up an inside-the-park home run in the third inning with a home run over the fence in the fourth inning. She also struck out 22 batters in her 12 innings pitched over two games today.
Elma’s 14-9 season record was deceptive. The Eagles returned several key components from a team that had captured Evergreen 1A League championships the previous two years, but the club was slow to jell this season.
In Janene Todd’s estimation, they played their best four games of the season at state.
“It was a different team and we had to get chemistry,” the Elma coach said. “We peaked at the right time. We didn’t overwork Brooke (as a pitcher during the regular season). She was healthy and here 100 percent and out bats backed her up.”
“I think everyone peaked at the right time,” Goldsmith agreed.
Goldsmith turned in a spectacular state performance. The senior right-hander won all four state contests and didn’t allow an earned run in three of them. She also established what was undoubtedly a state record of some sort by hitting four consecutive triples.
“She was the league MVP (an honor she actually shared with Montesano’s Madison Didion) and she’s the MVP of this tournament,” Todd maintained. “And I don’t think anybody doubts it.”
Goldsmith received solid support from her teammate. Cristelli homered in each of the last two games and Smythe, Shayla Shumate, Peyton Elliott and Ashley Cooper were among also making important contributions.
“We definitely went through a lot of bumps and bruises,” a tearful Smythe summed up, “(but) we got to hold up No. 1.”
The season ended for the Montesano High School fastpitch team on Friday. After the Bulldogs won their first game over Nooksack Valley, they couldn’t seem to find a rhythm on offense in the next two games losing to Mt. Baker 3-0 and falling 10-3 to Woodland.
“A day of missed opportunities offensively for us,” Bulldog coach Pat Pace reflected. “Too many LOBs.”