YAKIMA — The Hermiston Bulldogs are one win away from bringing home a state slow pitch softball title.
Hermiston started the 2A/3A state tournament Friday with a 26-2 victory over Prairie, then topped Washougal 10-0 to reach the championship game at Gateway Sports Complex.
“We put the ball in play, and everyone contributed,” Hermiston coach Kate Greenough said. “It was pretty cool.”
The Bulldogs, who have won 18 games in a row, will play Mt. Spokane at 2 p.m. Saturday in the championship game. It’s a rematch of last week’s MCC/GSL/GNL district title game, which the Bulldogs won 10-9.
“Tomorrow will be a great game,” Greenough said. “They are going for it. I’m hopeful — if they play Hermiston softball, they will come out on top.”
It was 23 degrees at the start of the first game against Prairie, but once the Bulldogs got warmed up, they took a 7-2 lead after two innings, and never let the Falcons cross home plate again.
Bailey Noland hit a three-run homer in the second inning to give Hermiston a 10-2 lead.
“The fences are 240 (feet) — it’s a very big field,” Greenough said. “She hit it into no man’s land in right field and had to run it out.”
In the bottom of the third inning, the Bulldogs sent 18 batters to the plate, scored 16 runs and took a commanding 26-2 lead. The game ended after 4½ innings.
“All of the starters had a hit in that game,” Greenough said.
Against Washougal, the game was scoreless until the fifth inning. Sam Atilano hit a solo home run in the fifth inning for the Bulldogs.
“We hit the ball really well and played great defense,” Greenough said.
Junior Abby Findley pitched both games and added a couple of doubles to help her cause.