Wenatchee Valley claims first NWAACC softball title
PORTLAND -- The Wenatchee Valley Knights (44-4) needed everything their All-American pitcher Hailey Bator had left to hold off the Douglas Royals (31-7) today as the Knights collected their first NWAACC softball title with a thrilling 6-5 win over the Royals.
Bator, who recently signed with University of Washington, came into the title game sporting a 25-0 record with a league low 0.77 ERA.
WVC reached the title game taking the easiest route with consecutive wins over Grays Harbor (6-2) and Columbia Basin (18-3) on Friday, Douglas 4-1 on Saturday and a 6-1 win over #1-seeded Mt. Hood Sunday.
Bator was the work horse on the mound in each of their wins, pitching all but three innings for the Knights.
After opening the tournament with wins over Treasure Valley (4-3) and region rival Bellevue (8-3), sixth-seeded Douglas had to navigate the bracket through the one-loss side after Wenatchee Valley defeated them on Saturday.
The Royals then regrouped by handing Spokane a lopsided 17-7 loss followed by another convincing win over Bellevue (9-1) and delivered a 5-4 stunner over top-seeded Mt. Hood on Sunday.
Royals ace Kyla Myre pitched all but 3 innings in Douglas' road to the title game proving that she should take the start against Bator and the Knights.
Wenatchee Valley took early control of the title game with runs in each of the first two innings and added three more in the bottom of the fifth before Douglas unloaded with five runs in the top of sixth to knot the game at five all.
The Knights responded in the bottom of the sixth when All-American Julia Rambo hit a sacrifice fly to score Becky Wall from second to make it 6-5 WVC while Bator held Douglas at bay in their final at bat.
The title appearance was Wenatchee's 2nd (1985) in the program's history dating back to 1984 and Douglas' first in only the program's third year of existence.
Bator was named the Tournament Most Valuable Player while WVC 14th year head coach Shelly Pflugrath was named NWAACC Coach of the Year.
MVP - Hailey Bator, Wenatchee Valley
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