Mukilteo Little League claims state softball crown

Youth all-stars rally to beat Kirkland for league’s first-ever championship
By David Pan | Jul 26, 2017
Courtesy of: Jessica Rohwer The Mukilteo Little League 11U all-stars celebrate the team’s 4-3 victory over Kirkland in the state softball championship game Thursday, July 20.

Mukilteo Little League made history last week.

The 11U all-stars won the league’s first-ever Washington state softball championship by defeating the Kirkland National all-stars 4-3 in the title game Thursday, July 20, in Normandy Park.

Mukilteo rallied from a 3-1 deficit, scoring three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to claim the victory.

Olivia Rorke-Lucero hit a walk-off line drive past the shortstop to drive in the winning run. Pitcher Samantha Rohwer picked up the win.

But the state championship was a total team effort, according to manager Bill Rohwer, father of Samantha.

“There are 12 girls, nine starters, three subs,” Bill Rohwer said. “All 12 of them contributed in some way, whether it was a hit when we needed it at the plate or a nice play on defense.”

Mukilteo won three straight games to advance to the finals, defeating Sedro-Woolley 13-0 to open the tournament and following that with a 9-4 victory over Kirkland and then a 16-1 win over North Lake.

The championship game turned out to be a pitcher’s duel with Samantha Rohwer and Kirkland’s Kya Aldrich.

“Both teams’ pitchers pitched well,” coach Rohwer said.

Kirkland took a 3-0 lead in the third inning on an inside-the-park home run by Hailey Story.

Mukilteo cut the deficit to 3-1 in the fifth inning after Kaylee Mitchell led off with a single, stole second and then scored on a hit by Gabby Cummings. Softball games go six innings.

“We just told them you scored nine the other day,” coach Rohwer said before the start of the bottom of the sixth. “It’s 3-1. This is completely doable. We told them to relax, go and have fun. That’s exactly what they did.”

With one out in the sixth, Grace Rudek hit a double to right field. Rudek scored on a single to left-center field by Ally Boulger. Mitchell then followed with a double to left field with two outs to drive in Boulger. Rorke-Lucereo, with two strikes on her, then hit the walk-off single to give Mukilteo Little League its first state championship.

The players were: Ally Boulger, Sampagita Bruton, Gabrielle Cummings, Elisabeth Funston, Kaylee Mitchell, Samantha Porter, Samantha Rohwer, Olivia Rorke-Lucero, Grace Rudek, Samantha Stine, Amanda Webb and Katie Wills.

The 9-11 season wraps up at the state tournament. This Mukilteo team will move up to the next level – Little League – in 2018.

Coach Rohwer said the goal for the team will be to battle for another state championship.

The state champions qualify for the Western Regional tournament with an opportunity to advance to the Little League World Series in Portland, Oregon.

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