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Lake Washington softball wins 2A District title, takes No. 1 seed to state tournament | UPDATE
Tori Bivens has given the Lake Washington High School girls fastpitch softball team some dominating performances this year. But if the caliber of talent faced determines the greatest of performance, Bivens threw her best game of the year Saturday, beating Sultan 2-1, as the Kangs won the 2A District title in Sedro-Wooley.
"I wasn't surprised," said Lake Washington head coach Traci Tawney about her team's title. "I was pleased we won but we're not done yet."
The Kangs will take the No. 1 seed to the 2A State Tournament next weekend.
But Lake Washington has had to overcome some issues on and off the field. The biggest one was losing the team's best pitcher and hitter. Maddie Brown, who has hit .600 for the team this season and was the No. 1 starter, broke her hand just before the playoffs ramped up.
"It was pretty clear the the full load was falling on [Bivens]," said Tawney. "I told her 'get ready.'"
And Bivens has answered the call.
The freshmen baffled Sultan hitters for the complete-game victory during the district title game, striking out 11 batters, walking just one and scattering two hits.
Lake Washington scored its first run of the game during the top of the fourth and added a second run during the sixth inning. Sultan scored its lone run during the sixth inning.
Julia Turner collected both RBI for the Kangs, finishing 2-for-3 at the plate with a home run, while Hannah Walker was 1-for-3 with a run scored.
One player that stepped in to help in Brown's absence is first baseman Kim Veldee.
"She showed up to practice the next day and said she would pitch," said Tawney.
Veldee, who had given up pitching to focus on first base for the team, threw five innings during the district tournament, allowing Tawney some flexibility with her freshman starter.
The team ran into more challenges during the district tournament as their bus failed to show up to drive them to Sedro-Wooley on the first day of play.
"It was a little bit of a frazzle but we had an issue like that during the preseason," said Tawney. "This team does a good job of focusing on what is important."
That focus will help the Kangs during the state tournament.
"Last year we made it to districts with a very young team and we were pretty much shell shocked," said Taney. "Everyone has stepped up this year."
Taney is not worried about her young team dealing nerves at state.
"If you don't have nerves you should find something else to do," said Tawney. "The goal is to redirect those nerves."
Tawney said that Bivens, who started pitching when she was 8 years old, was nervous heading into the district tournament but dealt with it and pitched well. That experience will help in Lacey. Bivens has pitched well this season, going 5-0 in league play. She will get the call for the first game at state.
"She grew early and is tall for her age," said Tawney, who added that Bivens father pitched for Arizona State University. "She has been around the game and has had knowledge of the game for a long time. She has the ability to absorb that great amount of knowledge and use it."
Lake Washington takes its 18-1 overall record to the state tournament after winning the 2A/3A KingCo title this season with a 13-1 record in league play.