The Central Valley softball team celebrated one championship and then went out and won itself another on Thursday, as it topped Mead 2-0 to claim the District 8 4A title.
Prior to the district title game on a warm evening at Marks Field on the Whitworth campus, Central Valley was presented the trophy it earned from sharing the Greater Spokane League regular season championship with North Central.
Two hours later, Carli Riordan gave the Bears more to celebrate.
Central Valley receives the district's No. 1 seed to the 4A Regional and will play the Mid-Columbia Conference No. 1 seed on May 18 for a top-seed to state. Mead faces Lewis and Clark on Friday for the right to represent the GSL as the No. 2 seed in regional play on May 18 against the MCC No. 2 seed.
On Thursday, Riordan outpitched her counterpart, Mead hurler Hannah Beloved, in a quintessential pitcher's duel that produced a combined 19 strikeouts and just six hits.
"The main thing that I like to do is stay relaxed, I think," Riordan said. "I always think about this pitch and not the next pitch. So, I'm always focusing on just one pitch at a time, rather than thinking for what I have to do. I just live in the moment."
The only jam Riordan found herself came in a wacky fourth inning. After striking out looking with a runner on third to end the third, the junior pitcher walked the first batter she faced in the fourth. After a fielder's choice, Riordan allowed a single and then hit Mackenzie Kutz to load the bases with just one out.
Riordan responded to the adversity with a little help from Mead. After Kodee Binder swung and missed at strike three in the dirt, Bears catcher Kiara McCoy threw a strike to third to catch the Panthers' Anna Mattingly straying too far off the bag.
"Not necessarily a make-or-break moment," Central Valley head coach Joe Stanton. "I mean, I know on the other side of things, sometimes that is really kind of deflating. When you got everything going for ya and you just make a mental mistake. That's all it was. We were on the positive end of it this time. That's huge for us. Unfortunately for a team like Mead, that's such a deflator."
The Mead miscue that ended the visitor's half of the fourth would also mark the final time a Panther reached base.
Central Valley scored the only run it would need in the second on an RBI single by Tia Pau. The Bears added an insurance run in the sixth when McCoy reached on an error, stole second and scored on another error.
University beat North Central on Thursday to earn the GSL No. 1 seed to regionals. North Central will play Shadle Park on Friday to determine the league's No. 2 seed.
Local News Washington News Idaho News National International Connect With Kleck KHQ MD Invest Northwest KHQ Birthdays Sports from SWX Pro Sports College Sports High School Sports
Forecast Discussion HD Doppler 6i Radar 6 Day Forecast School Closures & Delays Road & Pass Conditions Weather Pix Dave Law's Fishing Report