MOSSYROCK — Lois Stone was not ready to steal home plate. But when that moment came, Stone stepped up.
With the bases loaded, two outs and a 1-2 count on Erin Cournyer, Naselle’s pitch went past its catcher and Stone took off from third base, slid safely across the plate to give the Vikings a walk-off, 11-10 victory to capture the 1B Columbia Valley League title at home on Monday.
“I was planning on it for so long, so when it actually happened I was not prepared,” Stone said of stealing home. “But I was really excited because I knew it was possible to happen.”
The victory, coupled with the Vikings’ 17-10 win over the Comets on May 4, gives Mossy its first league title since dropping down to the Class 1B ranks in 2020.
“I can’t be more proud of them,” Mossyrock coach Keith Coleman. “They just work at it and work at it.”
It was a wire-to-wire battle, with Naselle vaulting out to a four-run lead in the top of the first. But Mossyrock punched back — the first of many counter blows by the Vikings — by plating two runs in the bottom of the first.
The Comets would increase their lead to 5-2 in the second before Mossy exploded for five runs in the bottom of the inning to take a 7-5 lead.
The two squads were notched up at 8-8 heading into the seventh inning when disaster struck for Mossy. The Vikings had two outs with Comet runners in scoring position when a dropped third strike and an overthrow to first scored one Comet to give them a 9-8 lead.
Then the Comets smashed an RBI single to go up 10-8 before the Mossy pitcher Cournyer got a groundout to end the inning and set up one final shot on offense for the Vikings.
Back-to-back base hits from Kimberly Vallalba and Addison Barrows set up Stone’s RBI single, then Taylor Schwartz’ RBI double to tie the game up. With Stone on third and Schwartz on second, Naselle’s passed ball allowed Stone to steal home and seal the walk-off win.
“It was such a close game all the way through,” Stone said. “We were all really nervous but really, like, having a lot of fun because we normally don’t get challenged like that.”
Stone finished 1 for 3 with an RBI and a run. Hailey Brooks was 1 for 1 with three runs and a walk and Barrows went 3 for 3 with two runs and an RBI.
Cournyer went the distance, allowing 17 hits and 10 runs with four strikeouts and two walks for the win.
Mossyrock will now enter the 1B District IV tournament as the No. 1 seed and will host the No. 4 seed at 4 p.m. on May 16 in a loser-out game with the winner advancing to the district championship match.