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Okanogan softball heads to state

— The Okanogan High School softball team heads to state as the second-place team from the District 6/7 tournament Saturday at Central Valley High School.

The Bulldogs topped Riverside, 5-2, in the semifinals before falling 16-11 to Lakeside in a championship slugfest.

“We started the (Riverside) game slow offensively before Makenzie Norwill got us going with a monster home run,” said Okanogan coach Darin Radke after deadline. “Then the bats came alive and we were able to get a lead and hold it. We played well defensively in this game and made several nice plays.”

Norwill struck out 8, walked 4 and gave up 2 runs on 4 hits in 7 innings.

Okanogan (5) – Moses 1-3; Norwill 1-3, HR; Morris 1-2, 3B; Townsend 1-3, 2B; Oules 2-3; Erks 1-2.

Hitting: Cameron Moses (1-3), Norwill (1-3, HR), Keeley Morris (1-2, 3B), Jill Townsend (1-3, 2B), Peyton Oules (2-3), Amanda Erks (1-2).

In the championship game for the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds to state, Okanogan and Lakeside each pounded out 21 hits.

“The strike zone was being called very tight for both teams, which forced the pitchers to throw good hitters’ pitches for strikes and both teams capitalized,” Radke said.

The difference in the game, Radke said, was 3 errors of 5 in the game occurring in an 8-run fifth inning.

“We had taken the lead 5-3 and then gave up 8 runs (7 unearned) all with 2 outs,” Radke said. “To the girls credit, they kept on hitting and scoring runs. We just were in too big of a hole against one of the top teams in the state. Without those errors, we probably win that game.”

Norwill struck out 4, walked 2 and gave up 7 earned runs on 21 hits in 7 innings.

Okanogan with a No. 2 seed opens state against Hoquiam at 10 a.m. Friday at Columbia Playfields, 1005 Swift Blvd., Richland.

Okanogan (11) – Bauer 3-4; Moses 3-4; Norwill 2-4; Morris 2-4; Townsend 2-4; Oules 3-4; Erks 3-4; Bryson 2-4.

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