IT’S CRUNCH TIME Several Tacoma teams bound for the playoffs

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The time has come when teams are hoping that they are beginning to peak at just the right time. With the playoffs already underway, or beginning in just a matter of days, the table has been mostly set for what should be an exciting couple of weeks of action on the diamonds and the fields around the Tacoma area.

While Tacoma hasn’t been a hotbed for high school fastpitch and baseball excellence for quite some time, there are definitely some teams to keep an eye on during the post-season, as they are definitely state-caliber. 

Of course, once a team gets to state, anything can happen. Upsets are the norm when dealing with teenagers, let alone the best at the collegiate level. So don’t be surprised if one of these squads from Grit City rises up and shocks their respective field.

The Stadium Tigers paid a visit to Mt. Tahoma on Tuesday, May 8, with a playoff spot already waiting for them. However, now was the time to look sharp and take care of work, instead of attempting to cruise by a T-Bird squad that would do anything for a victory.

It didn’t take long for the Tigers to strike as Stadium put five runs on the scoreboard in the top of the first inning. Meanwhile, Stadium sophomore starting pitcher McKenna Braegelmann was dropping the hammer on the T-Bird batters. Braegelmann struck out the side in the second and third innings, while the Stadium bats tacked on another three runs to make it 8-0. The Tigers added a couple of insurance runs late to take an 11-0 victory, moving their record to 10-3 in 3A Pierce County League action.

The victory also secured the second seed to the district tournament for the Tigers.

Stadium, along with the Wilson Rams, will begin district play on Thursday, May 17, at the Regional Athletic Complex in Lacey. The Tigers still don’t know who they will face, but it’s going to be a 2 p.m. start time. It’s unclear where Wilson is going to finish in the league standings, as they are currently in a three-way tie with Spanaway Lake and Lakes. The Rams and Tigers will be gunning for one of the six seeds that the district tournament will send to state.

The 4A field has Puyallup (13-0), Rogers (12-3) and Curtis (12-3) all looking like contenders for one of the seven seeds to state from the 4A Southwest District Four tournament. While Puyallup looks like a legitimate contender to win the state championship, the Rams and Vikings have also put together excellent seasons. Bellarmine (7-8) may sneak into the tournament via a play-in game on Tuesday, May 15, at Auburn Riverside at 4 p.m.

The 2A West Central District will send five teams to the state tournament. The Fife Trojans (12-2) and the Steilacoom Sentinels (11-3) look like the two area teams that have the best shot at making it through the field and on to the state tournament.

In baseball, the cream of the crop is definitely the Puyallup Vikings (15-1 in the 4A South Puget Sound League and 20-1 overall). The defending 4A state champions look every bit as good as last season. Don’t be surprised to see South Kitsap (12-4, 15-6) make a run at that very same title, as the Wolves were the only team to top the Vikings this season. Curtis (10-6, 13-7) is also knocking on the door to state, needing just two more wins in the district tournament to nab one of the seven seeds to the state tournament.

Everybody has been chasing Bonney Lake in the 3A Pierce County League. The undefeated Panthers have been top-notch, with Wilson and Stadium finishing second and third in the league standings respectively. Wilson is working through the consolation side of the district bracket, looking to garner one of the two remaining seeds to state. Stadium was ousted following a 9-4 loss to Bethel on Saturday, May 5.

Fife has already qualified for the 2A state baseball tournament, while Franklin Pierce and Steilacoom are still in the running for the fifth, and final, seed to the state tournament.

Curtis is still alive in the hunt for a 4A boys’ state soccer berth. With a victory over Auburn Riverside on Thursday, May 10, the Vikings would secure a spot in the big dance. The game will be held at Curtis Viking Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Puyallup has already secured a spot in the state tournament, with Sumner also needing just one win to advance.

The Stadium Tigers won their second-straight 3A PCL title this season with a 13-0-1 mark in league play. The Tigers will have to get a win on the road against either Kelso or Shelton on Saturday, May 12, at Ingersoll Stadium. Game time is set for 4:30 p.m. Second-place Mt. Tahoma (9-2-3) will host Peninsula at Harry Lang Stadium the same day at 2 p.m. Meanwhile, the third-place Wilson Rams will do battle with North Thurston two hours prior at Harry Lang. The fifth-place Lincoln Abes will need two victories for one of the six seeds to state, beginning with a Wednesday, May 9 match against Capital.

Fife and Franklin Pierce have already secured berths into the 2A state soccer tournament. Washington will need to win two in a row to secure the district’s fifth, and final, seed to state.

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