Camas softball team earns a spot in the Sweet 16 in Spokane

Papermakers place second at bi-district tournament

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Camas softball players Amee Aarhus, Lena Richards, Katie Schroeder, Harli Hubbard and Caylin Grindy are excited to be going back to the state championship tournament Friday and Saturday, in Spokane.

A hiccup in the district championship game didn’t prevent the Camas High School softball team from getting back to the state tournament.

After losing to Skyview in the title game, the Papermakers showed their resolve Friday by beating Kentridge and Gig Harbor in the first two rounds of the bi-district tournament, at the Sprinkler Recreation Center, in Spanaway. Those two victories ensured Camas a spot in the Sweet 16 in Spokane.

“That’s been our mission all along, to come out and win and get your berth to state,” said head coach Ken Nidick.

The Papermakers defeated Kentridge 9-2 in the first round. Kentridge jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but Camas rallied for three runs in the bottom of the first and added six more runs in the sixth inning. MacKenzie Farnham drove in four runs for the Papermakers on two hits. Tori O’Neil added a 2-run single. Katie Schroeder pitched into the fifth inning to get the win. Harli Hubbard struck out six of the last eight batters she faced to earn the save.

Camas beat Gig Harbor 5-1 in the quarterfinals. Erin Tauscher, Hubbard and O’Neil knocked in runs. Hubbard racked up 12 strikeouts in seven innings pitched.

The Papermakers had more to play for Monday, and they almost walked away with the bi-district championship.

Camas jumped on Todd Beamer 8-0 in the semifinal round. The Papermakers scored three runs in the first inning. Amee Aarhus circled the bases for a 3-run home run later in the game. Nidick said the Sprinkler Center has no outfield fence. Once Aarhus hit the ball in the gap, it was off to the races. Schroeder gave up only two hits in seven innings pitched.

Emerald Ridge scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to beat Camas 2-1 in the championship game. Lena Richards doubled home Hannah Welborn to give the Papermakers a 1-0 advantage in the fifth inning. Hubbard held Emerald Ridge to three hits, while gaining 13 strikeouts.

“It’s always tough to lose a game in the bottom of the seventh inning, but we can learn from it and grow from it,” Nidick said. “I hope we can come back stronger and play even better in the state tournament. This is it. The last two days of softball are coming up.”