State Softball: Bearcats rebound from heartbreak to keep season going


SELAH – There was basically zero time to sulk.

As the W.F. West High School softball team moseyed its way over from Field 1 to Field 2 on Friday afternoon, it was leaving heartbreak and moving towards a season-saving contest.

Not only did head coach Kevin Zylstra believe his experienced group would recover, he expected it.

“If we drop a game, we come back and we pick up and go,” Zylstra said. “Our focus changed from get to the championship to get to the third place game.”

The Bearcats proved Zylstra more than right.

Behind an early offensive explosion against Shadle Park and shut down pitching versus Franklin Pierce, fifth-seeded W.F. West triumphed behind 15-5 and 7-1 verdicts to guarantee itself at least one Class 2A state tournament game on Saturday at Carlon Park.

It will be an all-Evergreen Conference showdown in a game to get one win away from finishing in the top-four. Aberdeen will battle W.F. West, a rematch from the District 4 title game, at 10 a.m.

“We’re built to have a six-game run and we’re built to bounce back from adversity,” Zylstra said. “We had Lou Holtz speak to us yesterday and they’re talking about flushing adversity and it came to fruition today.”

The Bearcats (19-6) suffered an opening round loss at the hands of 12th-seeded Lynden 5-4 in eight innings. Majority of the offense came in the later innings.

There were ties of 1-1, 3-3 and 4-4. Each time the Lions grabbed control of the game in the top half of the frames, W.F. West would snatch it right back. The difference took place in extras.

Lynden moved the go-ahead run to third base and she scored on a groundout. Monroe Dalrymple kept the margin at one with the chance for the Bearcats to walk-it off once again.

A leadoff walk by Dalrymple put the tying run on base. Tanner Tobin lifted a shallow fly ball to right that was reeled in and Lynden executed a double play. A strikeout secured the upset victory.

“I felt like I was watching a Mariner game,” Zylstra said, referencing the 15 strikeouts. “From a coaching standpoint, it was frustrating to see that because I know we can do so much better.”

Infielder Addie Froschauer felt there would be a response versus Shadle Park.

“We really want to be here and came out and showed that,” Froschauer said. “As soon as the game started, we were ready to get a win.”

Six runs in the bottom of the second turned a 2-0 lead against the Highlanders into 8-0. W.F. West added three runs apiece in the third and fifth frames and finished off the run-rule victory with a tally in the sixth.

Froschauer went 4-for-5 at the plate with two doubles, a home run, four RBIs and three runs scored. Lena Fragner, Staysha Fluetsch, Ella Young and Taylor Tobin each recorded at least two hits. Fluetsch and Avalon Myers left the park while Tobin struck out eight in the circle.

“I felt really locked in,” Froschauer said. “They know how to handle certain situations.”

Tobin continued her stellar pitching with a five-inning performance with six strikeouts against the Cardinals and Dalrymple finished off the final two innings, giving up two hits.

“We went to our Aberdeen district game format,” Zylstra said. “Start Taylor, bring in (Monroe).”

Five runs in the bottom of the second allowed W.F. West to lead for good versus Franklin Pierce. Myers, Kenley Fragner and Tanner Tobin all had run-scoring singles.