5 contending Washington girls baseball coaches explore the difficulties of surviving in a state-tournament backdrop

5 contending Washington girls baseball coaches explore the difficulties of surviving in a state-tournament backdrop

Many high school baseball coaches in Washington agree with one thing with regards to the WIAA state tournaments.

You don’t truly know just how to play into the Tacoma Dome (4A/3A), Yakima SunDome (2A/1A) or Spokane Arena (2B/1B) without experiencing it first.

There are numerous lessons become discovered, and five coaches – one from each category – of state-contending girls programs shared just just just what they’ve learned all about surviving and succeeding in that environment.

The requirements for the choice procedure of these scheduled programs is three-fold:

* School hasn’t won circumstances girls championship.

* Program has made numerous state-tournament appearances within the last ten years, including at the least back-to-back trips.

* Team has made a minumum of one run that is deep hawaii semifinals or better.

Prior to the beginning of every period, the Woodinville highschool girls build their “Vision Board. ”

Players brings cut-out pictures of 2 or 3 things they would like to see take place for the reason that period. This 12 months, one woman brought a photograph of 2 per cent milk, representing that she wished to get 2 better each day in training. Another woman brought a hat that is hard signifying she wished to be a difficult worker in group exercises.

And, as constantly, several girls cut right out an image regarding the Tacoma Dome – the final-destination end of this tournament that is 4A.

“For each young one, it’s a brand new experience, ” Falcons girls mentor Scott Bullock stated. “The very first time we got here as a group (in 2006), we had been just very happy to be there. But as each 12 months goes on, our company is like, ‘Let’s not merely be pleased to arrive here, let’s you will need to get one thing away from this. ‘”

In 4A KingCo MVP Mia Hughes’ ninth-grade season in 2018, the Falcons won three games in Tacoma, and advanced level towards the 4A title game, losing to Central Valley.

Hughes may be the elder statesman of some other young but skilled team this time around.

“We aren’t a veteran team, however they are veteran into the feeling they’ve been here before, ” Bullock stated. “I’d like to state this is perhaps all company, however they are enjoying the entire experience. ”


Eagles girls mentor Joe Marsh understands he had been ruined in the beginning.

In only his 2nd period in 2015-16, their group ended up being the competition upstart by beating Lincoln of Tacoma and Kamiakin to achieve the 3A championship game, losing to Bellevue.

“Having that (Tacoma) Dome experience – that part split of playing four baseball resistant to the most readily useful teams – may be the variety of thing you must proceed through one time for you to feel at ease, bridesinukraine.com safe ” Marsh said. “i actually do feel it really is a big deal. ”

He will need to have, because for a new Arlington group final period, their main aim ended up being simply to play one state game in Tacoma, simply to obtain a feel for this.

Now their most useful players are mainly juniors (Hailey Hiatt, Josie Stupey, Makenzie Gage) and sophomores (Keira Marsh, Hannah Rork) – and something big presence that is ninth-grade Jenna Villa. They wear pre-game tees that say, “#EndGoal. ”

“There can be so attention that is much this tournament, plus it brings force. You then need certainly to come out on the ground, ” Marsh stated. “Last was big for this group year. Now we could consider winning. ”


There was a joke that is running the Hornets at state: once you move on to the floor, don’t journey.

That is really because in just one of White River girls mentor Chris Gibson’s experiences that are first their state championships, one of his true players had been so stressed during pre-game introductions, she stumbled and face-planted to the hardwood.

This is certainly one of the numerous factors girls cannot anticipate until they perform in a state-tournament game.

“That very very first bounce, this has a hollow sound – and a funny feel to it, ” Gibson said. “There are other noises you need to black out. ”

“On a number of the (state-tournament) courts we’ve played on, we’ve had the NBA 3-point line, or university 3-point line here, and you simply see teams run their sets 2-3 legs greater it changes the passing angles and the post feeds than they normally do, and.

“And into the SunDome, the court is much longer, therefore post that is many take a look at the free-throw line thinking they’ve been close to the container. ”

The Hornets have actually the longest streak in 2A in reaching at the very least the round of 16 (regionals or state) at 12 consecutive years. They usually have reached the 2A semifinals twice – in 2012 and 2019.

“once you arrive at a Dome, it really is this type of big deal, ” Gibson said. “But it really isn’t a tactical thing. It’s an emotion thing. Children are tight. Which is why the very first pass goes in to the bleachers and hits grandma into the head, or even the very very first shot goes 3 foot very very very long. ”


The Bulldogs have come nearer to winning a situation name in the last 36 months than any system within the state – with a set of runner-up showings (2017, 2018) and final year’s defeat that is semifinal Los Angeles Salle during the SunDome in Yakima.

Now, Cashmere girls advisor Brent Darnell brings back celebrity point guard Hailey Van Lith, a McDonald’s All-American and Naismith Award finalist, and a seasoned senior team for yet another break at it.

“It is this type of tournament that is wild and you also clearly get the best groups within the state here, ” Darnell stated. “But every team differs from the others. You could play a group on Thursday that is a ground-and-pound, energy baseball group with slow tempo. Therefore the night that is next you can face a group like Annie Wright, that you cannot get ready for their design and their stress.

“It makes winning the thing that is whole. ”

Needless to say, whenever you are from the town that is small you bring across the additional stress of representing your community, Darnell stated.

Following the Bulldogs lost within the 2017 final to Mount Baker, sharp-shooter Grace Hammond – who then had been a seldom-used ninth grader – cried uncontrollably within the locker space later.

“We were all hurting, but she hadn’t played much, therefore I wondered, ‘Why ended up being she crying so difficult? ‘” Darnell stated. “It’s given that it designed a great deal to her … this experience that is whole of your college, your city as well as your community.

“For the seniors – Grace Hammond, Grace Erdmann and Hailey (Van Lith) – this is really important. They are therefore close to winning it without carrying it out. They are made by it pretty hungry. They understand they usually have an additional shot. ”


Similar to Cashmere, that is additionally an application that will have fun with the card that is oh-so-close previous number of periods.

The Pirates have lost to 1B Colton that is dynasty in state championship game the last two periods during the Spokane Arena.

“When these girls went 2 yrs ago, it absolutely was intense, daunting and scary, ” Pomeroy girls mentor Tai Bye said. “And to make the journey to that last game, everything needs to fall right. ”

Bye stated she’s always had the high-level talent that is physical her roster to win a situation name. However in critical times, specially against Colton, her players have actually struggled with all the psychological and psychological part to be in a high-profile game.

“i’ve girls who possess finally reached that mentally-tough stage, ” Bye said. “Nothing fazes them anymore. ”

Maybe maybe Not coincidentally, she’s got a group that is large of in the lead in Maddy Dixon, Heidi Heytvelt, Sydney Watko and Alyssa Wolf.

As well as 2 weeks ago, the Pirates welcomed straight right back junior point guard Emma Severs, who had previously been out since final summer time by having a severe leg damage.

They are the people whom arrived up using the team’s “Fight Another circular” slogan – a thing that is pasted in the straight straight back of group tees.

“We’ve done this twice, ” Bye said, “and now we should complete it. ”

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