West Salem — The annual Labor Day Classic softball tournament took place this weekend at Wallace Marine Park in West Salem, officially starting fall season for club softball and marking the end of the summer. On Monday afternoon, NW Vandals Scott faced Washington Ladyhawks Gonzalez in the 18A championship game, which was a winner-take-all scenario instead of the typical double victories required for the loser bracket team. The game was a tight one, and a true showdown between the best teams in West Salem this weekend.
NW Vandals Scott led off with a single from Kinley Pappas, but the Ladyhawks turned a double play on a line drive back to the pitcher Rylee Wall. In the bottom frame, Hannah Jensen ripped a one-out double with a runner on first, but Stella Puckett was thrown out on a bang-bang play at the plate, keeping the game scoreless after one inning. In the third, Peyton Justice hit a single with two outs for the Vandals, setting up Pappas to rip a triple to right field, bringing home Justice and opening the scoring 1-0 for the Vandals in the third. In the fourth, Payton Burnham ripped a lead-off home run over the left field fence, extending the Vandals advantage to 2-0 over the Ladyhawks.
Those two runs would be all the support needed for the Vandals, as Burnham also threw the final five innings of the game, escaping out of a bases loaded mess in the sixth inning and a runner in scoring position in the fifth inning. In the final frame, the Ladyhawks found a spark with Jasmine Barela’s RBI single to bring home Mallory VanCleave, who had advanced to third on a one-out groundout. However, the Vandals would ultimately obtain the final out to win it 2-1 and clinch the 18A Labor Day Classic Championship.
For the Ladyhawks, Jasmine Barela led them at the plate with a pair of doubles and the lone RBI of the game and Hannah Jensen hit a double. In the circle, Rylee Wall went four innings, allowing both Vandals runs but only four hits overall. Holland Jensen came in relief for the final three innings, striking out three and allowing two hits. As for the Vandals, Kinley Pappas and Abigail Carsley both had triples and Payton Burnham went deep in the game, along with finishing off the final five innings in the circle with five strikeouts, four hits, and a run allowed. Allison Parker started the game, going two innings allowing three hits and striking out one.