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Stilly Valley wins State Title
ARLINGTON — The Arlington Stilly Valley little league softball team won the state title, going 5-0 in the tournament.
The 9-10 year-old girls traveled to Asotin, after winning districts, where temperatures exceeded double-digits.
But the heat didn't put out the girls' fire.
Stilly Valley pitcher Riley Swanson pitched in all the championship games and recorded 65 strikeouts.
"She was extremely accurate," Stilly Valley assistant coach Shane Butchart said. "When she pitched, it was on purpose to get someone to swing at it."
After going 4-0 in districts, Stilly Valley carried its winning momentum to its first state game against Sammamish, topping them 15-2, July 12.
The girls hitting came alive in the first inning, which was not typical for the girls, Butchart said. "Usually it took them a while to hit, but we started to put the pressure on them and started scoring runs in the first inning," he said.
Stilly Valley powered through its next two games, defeating Gig Harbor 15-0 and Battleground 8-2.
"We probably had the hardest-hitting team there," Butchart said.
Arlington's streak of romps came to a halt when they faced Woodinville July 17.
"That was our hardest game," Butchart said. "Their pitcher was just as good as ours."
Swanson squared off against Woodinville's pitcher across seven innings, throwing 50 mile-per-hour balls, Butchart said. Swanson had 11 strikeouts but Woodinville had 16.
The game was tied 1-1.
It was hard hitting Arlington catcher Ashtyn Falor who made a difference against Woodinville.
"She almost hit the ball over the fence a couple of times," Butchart said. "The pitcher didn't want to have her hit it."
But she did, hitting a home run in the seventh inning.
It was Stilly Valley's lowest-scoring game, but they managed to edge out Woodinville 2-1.
The girls then went on to face Cascade.
After a stellar performance against Woodinville, Riley wasn't feeling it going into the championship game.
"She looked terrible before the game. We said, 'Oh man, Riley is our rock. We can't lose her,'" Butchart said. "But then her dad told us, 'There's no way she is not going to finish what she started.'"
Riley and the rest of her team did just that, dominating Cascade 11-2.
"We went over there thinking we had a chance," Butchart said. "It was an unbelievable ride for these girls."