KETCHIKAN (KDN) — The Ketchikan High School Lady Kings can sleep in a little bit on Friday morning.
They don’t have to play until mid-afternoon.
Kayhi claimed the ASAA softball state tournament’s top seed, and received a first-round bye, after a pair of victories during the pool-play round at Cartee Fields on Thursday in Anchorage.
The Lady Kings (8-0) started the day defeating Delta Junction High School 7-6 in the Pool A bracket, walking it off in the bottom of the seventh inning. They then beat Kodiak High School 13-5, run-ruling the Lady Bears in the sixth inning. The Lady Kings plated a pair of runs in their share of the sixth, giving themselves an eight-run lead after five innings.
First pitch for the Lady Kings’ next game is scheduled for 2:45 p.m. on Friday, although their opponent is not known yet. They will play either Homer High School, or Delta Junction again. Those two teams play at 10 a.m. on Friday, with the winner advancing to play Kayhi.
Fourth inning vs. Kodiak
After their walk-off winner, the Lady Kings fell behind Kodiak, 4-0, early in the day’s second game. But Kayhi began to chip away, cutting Kodiak’s lead in half, 4-2, entering the bottom of the fourth inning.
And then the Lady Kings’ offense exploded.
Kayhi sent a dozen batters to the plate in the frame, scoring seven runs, and had a 9-4 lead by the time Kodiak recorded the third out.
The half-inning took 35 minutes.
Kayhi’s Kenzie Pahang hit a two-run home run in the bottom half of the inning, smacking a deep fly ball to straightaway center field. The ball booted off Kodiak’s centerfielder’s glove, and bounced over the fence for a home run.
That shot gave Kayhi a 7-2 lead. The Lady Kings scored two more times in the frame.
Following the home run, Maggie Boehlert ran all the way around the base paths, scoring from first, on a double by Lyla Seludo.
Seludo came around to score, giving Kayhi its 9-4 lead, on a ground ball by Paige Boehlert. Kodiak made an errant throw to first, allowing Paige Boehlert to be safe at first, and Seludo to score.
Welk’s wild fourth
Kayhi first baseman Rylie Welk reached base twice in the fourth inning, without recording a hit in the frame against Kodiak. Welk was hit by a pitch in the helmet on a change-up by Kodiak’s pitcher, early in the inning, and walked her second time up in the frame.
Welk wasn’t phased by the hit-by-pitch, and was smiling afterward.
Southeast softball well represented
Not only did Kayhi win the Pool A bracket, and the top-seed in the tournament, but Juneau-Douglas High School won the Pool B bracket, as well.
The Juneau-Douglas Lady Crimson Bears, who lost 13-9 in the Region V championship against Kayhi on May 29, were still awarded a state tournament berth, as two teams from the region had bids.
As the region’s second seed, Juneau-Douglas played in the Pool B bracket, and defeated both North Pole and Homer high schools on Thursday.
The Lady Crimson Bears scored 19 runs in both of their games, beating North Pole 19-6, and Homer 19-11.
Kayhi’s games livestreamed
The Lady Kings’ game on Friday will be livestreamed on the team’s Facebook Page — Lady Kings Softball — and also will be on KTKN radio, with Jason Gentry calling the game. First pitch is scheduled for 2:45 p.m.