Fantastic Royals softball season ends in third-place finish at NWAC Championships

Fantastic Royals softball season ends in third-place finish at NWAC Championships

An incredible season of Douglas Royals softball came to a close with a third-place finish a the 2019 NWAC Softball Championships in Spokane. Douglas made it as far as the semi-final round before an unbelievable comeback from divisional rival Edmonds stifled hopes of an appearance in the championship final.

After a lengthy rain delay that postponed the start of the tournament by 24 hours, the Royals began their championship campaign against the Wenatchee Valley Knights. The start was less than ideal as the Knights amassed a 6-1 lead, but Douglas put up 8 runs in just two innings to complete an incredible comeback as the Royals moved on with an 8-7 victory. Douglas followed up their legendary late-game performance with a tight, tense 4-3 victory over the hosting Spokane, as all but one of the scoring plays from either side came in the fifth and sixth innings. A sixth-inning fielder's choice was the difference as Hannah Menard came around to score the game-winning run.

The Royals' third match at the double-elimination tournament was their first against a divisional rival as they played the Edmonds Tritons, the one team that Douglas had failed to beat in the regular season. Despite an incredible pitching performance from Jessica Podskalny, the Royals couldn't quite get anything going from the plate and lost 3-0, moving into the L bracket with their first loss and needing to go undefeated in their remaining games to become champions. Douglas came out swinging in their next game, winning 16-1 over a Clackamas team that had just defeated North Division frontrunners Bellevue. The incredible offensive performance culminated in an eight-run 7th inning kickstarted by Emilie Sherrit's two-run single and capped off by Menard's 3-run home run. Another piece of late-game heroics helped the Royals to an 8-4 victory over Walla Walla to propel the tournament's lone Canadian outfit to the semifinal.

In order to reach the final for a shot at taking down the defending champions, the Royals were once again pitted against the team that had their number all season - the Edmonds Tritons. The Royals got off to a miraculous start, batting around in the first while putting up an incredible eight runs. Edmonds answered back with 3 of their own in the bottom half of the inning. As the game went on, the Tritons slowly chipped away at the towering Douglas lead, eventually tying the game in the fourth inning as the Royals were unable to improve on their incredible first-inning score. A walk-off single from Ciena Kahui in the seventh sent Edmonds to the final and gave Douglas a third-place finish.

The Royals played a fantastic NWAC Championship tournament and a spectacular regular season, and finishing in third at the NWAC Championship is a testament to how incredible this Douglas softball team is.Four Douglas players received all star selections -  Janessa Hanson, Brooke Stoilen, Caitlin Redmond and Keyanna Olsen. Jessica Podskalny was also named North Region Pitcher of the Year.