Yelm Fastpitch Routed by Juanita in Opening Round of State Tournament


Yelm High School’s fastpitch season came to an end on May 25 after the team was defeated 12-2 by Juanita High School in the opening round of the 3A state tournament.

The Tornados finished its season with a 12-12 record overall, and an 8-7 record against South Sound Conference teams.

“It was not our best showing. We have to show up, score runs and help our pitchers out. That’s what we need to take into next season. Our offensive game has to get better,” Yelm coach Lindsay Walton said following the game. “We get bases loaded with less than two outs. There’s no reason we can’t get at least one run out of it, if not more than that. We have to up our game and recognize what the umpire is calling, and don’t swing at what he isn’t calling.”

Mallory Hoke started on the mound against Juanita in the playoff outing at the Regional Athletic Complex in Lacey.

The Tornados were the first team to score, as Madisyn Erickson drove in Elissa Dewees after she laid down a sacrifice bunt. The Tornados led 1-0, but it wasn’t for long, as Juanita took the lead in the bottom of the inning after a go-ahead home run to left centerfield by the Ravens.

Yelm put together several strong at-bats during the top of the second inning, but were held runless after Dewees grounded out.

Juanita’s offense came to life in the second inning, as the team added four more runs. The Ravens started the scoring with an RBI double that scored two runners. They slapped another RBI double to score their final run of the inning, making it 5-1 in favor of Juanita.

The Tornados offense showed signs of life in the third inning as Miranda Hunt, Austin Hitchner and Hoke loaded the bases. Yelm was unable to capitalize on possible runs, and ended the inning with a run-preventing fielder’s choice on a throw to home, and a ground out.

Entering the bottom of the third inning, the Ravens got a runner on after a successful infield bunt. The next batter smashed a two-run shot to make it 7-1 in favor of Juanita.

The Ravens made quick work of Tornado batters in the top of the fourth inning and expanded their lead to 8-1 in the bottom of the inning.

Despite the Tornados scoring one run in the top of the fifth inning, the Ravens slammed the door shut by scoring four runs to enforce the 10-run rule. Juanita defeated the Tornados 12-2.

“It’s hard,” Walton said. “It’s a hard loss to swallow because we’re better than what we showed. The girls know that they’re better than what was shown today. We’ll take the victories where we had them and the fact that we made it to state is a victory. Now we need to make it further next year.”

Walton added some of her girls will continue to play fastpitch throughout the summer on their select teams. She encouraged the girls to continually improve on their craft, even in the program’s off-season.

“I had a conversation with the girls and said those of you who don’t play outside of school ball, use the school facility,” Walton said. “Come out, get some extra cuts. Put in time outside of your select team and whatever else you’re doing. That’s going to help us as a whole team.”