Eugene — In a highly anticipated 2A/1A state championship game, Lakeview faced Grant Union in a rematch of an instant classic battle from earlier this season. The Honkers entered as an underrated 7-seed, while Grant Union was the undisputed top seed in the state after a convincing 26-1 campaign this year. The Prospectors swept Lakeview in a doubleheader early this season, including a 3-0 instant classic win that went eight scoreless innings before Grant Union broke through.
Lakeview opened the game with a pair of baserunners to start an early threat against the Prospectors, but Grant Union ace Drew Williams picked up a trio of strikeouts to end the threat in the first. In the bottom of the inning, Addy Northway led off with a single and advanced to third on a pair of pitching miscues. After Lakeview ace Tyler McNeley struck out a pair, Riley Robertson cashed in Northway on an RBI single, handing Grant Union a 1-0 lead after an inning. McNeley and Williams combined for five strikeouts in a scoreless second frame to keep it a 1-0 game, but the time for Lakeview would come in the third inning.
After loading up the bases on a defensive error, single, and a hit by pitch, Lakeview would find the scoreboard on a sacrifice fly from Annikah Tacchini, tying the game up at 1-1. Jaila Jackson singled to load up the bases again with two outs, and the Honkers would take the lead after a pickoff throw went AWOL for the Prospectors, taking a 2-1 lead with them into the bottom of the third. Lakeview added insurance in the fifth inning, as Jackson struck again drilled an RBI double to score Tacchini and extend it to a 3-1 game. After being held at bay over five innings, Savannah Watterson tripled to leadoff the sixth inning for Grant Union, coming come on an RBI single by Riley Robertson and making it a 3-2 score.
Facing pressure from Grant Union, Lakeview needed a big seventh inning to get some breathing room for the final stretch. McNeley led off with a single and advanced to third after Tacchini reached via error and advanced on a wild pitch. With a pair in scoring position, Jackson delivered another sacrifice fly to pad their lead to 4-2. Raven McLain would add another run by bringing home Tacchini on a suicide squeeze play, ultimately cementing a 5-2 lead headed into the bottom of the seventh. Sivanna Hodge and Harli Grove reached on singles to place runners on the corners, with Northway delivering a run on a suicide squeeze play and cutting it to 5-3 Lakeview. However, McNeley’s 109th pitch of the game was the final nail on a championship season, as she notched her 10th strikeout to deliver Lakeview their first title in school history 5-3 over Grant Union.