2A softball: Lake Washington wins state title
Tori Bivens nearly throws a perfect game in the Kangaroos’ 4-0 win over Othello.
SELAH — As state champions go, the Lake Washington Kangaroos are almost perfect.
So was their pitcher, Tori Bivens, in a 4-0 Class 2A state title-game victory over Othello on Saturday. Bivens had a perfect game going against the usually high-scoring Huskies until two outs in the seventh inning before giving up a single for Othello’s lone base runner of the day.
Lake Washington finished 22-2, with its only losses coming to 3A and 4A opponents.
The Kangaroos, who will move back up to the 3A ranks next year, have only one senior in their lineup, second baseman Cori Meyers, who passed up the prom to help the Kangaroos capture their first state title.
Bivens, who struck out 12 Huskies in the title game, is a freshman. She had no trouble against an Othello team that averaged double figures in scoring.
Bivens (5-1) had to step up when the team’s top pitcher, Maddie Brown (7-1), who is also a .600 hitter, suffered a broken bone in her non-pitching hand a week before the Kangaroos’ district tournament.
“We were practicing, doing some live hitting, and Maddie was beaned — actually by Tori. That popped her hand and broke that little bone,” Kangaroos coach Traci Tawney said. “She actually pitched a few innings for us this week. It was probably tough on her, and it was interesting to see how well everybody would rally around her.”
The Kangaroos were also able to turn to junior first baseman Kim Veldee for a few innings at state. Veldee had been a strong pitcher in 2013 but told Tawney before the season she didn’t want to pitch this season.
But after Brown was hurt, Veldee volunteered to go back on the mound.
“As soon as Maddie broke her hand, Kim told me, ‘I’ll be at practice ready to pitch tomorrow,’ ” Tawney said.
The three Kangaroo pitchers combined to give up just two runs in the four-game tourney run.
Though just a freshman, Bivens has played in premier-level national tournaments and in the Little League World Series, and the state-tournament stage didn’t shake her.
“I was a little nervous, but I’ve been in high-pressure situations,” said Bivens, who relied almost exclusively on three pitches — screwball, riser and changeup — and kept the Huskies guessing.
“They’re very aggressive, so even if I missed high, they swung at it. So I just kept using that to my advantage.”
Lynden — beaten 10-0 by the Kangaroos in the semis — beat Northwest Conference rival Anacortes 6-1 in the third-fourth place game.