BONNERS FERRY — The Bonners Ferry Badger softball team is off to the 3A State Tournament this weekend in Buhl, Idaho. The Badgers earned their third consecutive trip to the state tournament by winning the District Championship game this past weekend at Timberlake High School.
The Badgers finished the regular season with a 14-5 overall record and a 7-2 mark in Intermountain League play, putting the Badgers in second place behind the top ranked Timberlake Tigers (8-1).
The Badgers drew the Priest River Spartans in the first round of the district tournament, and came away with a 13-3 victory. The Badger offensive attack was led by junior third baseman Jadyn Bennett, going 3-for-3 on the day with a 3-run homer to get the Badgers going in the first inning. Junior pitcher Kadi Bateman was also 3-for-3 at the plate. Also collecting hits for the Badgers were Kassy Skeen and Avery Lane.
The first round win set up a much anticipated rematch with league champion Timberlake.
With a state berth on the line, the Badgers came ready to play. After two scoreless innings, Maecie Liermann led off the third inning with a walk, followed by Jorryn Bennet being hit by a pitch. Kadi Bateman then hit a double off the outfield fence to score the first 2 runs of the game. Jadyn Bennet then drove in Bateman with a single, and scored on a single by Avery Lane. These four runs were all the support that Bateman would need in the circle as she shut down a potent Timberlake offense by striking out nine Tiger batters and walking none.
The Badgers erupted for 11 more runs in the sixth inning to end the game with a final score of 15-2. Collecting hits for the Badgers on the day were Bateman (4), M. Jackson (2), Jo. Bennett (1), Lane (1) and Liermann (1).
Following the Championship game, the Badgers received the District Championship Trophy, as well as some individual awards. Selected for the IML All-League team were four Badger players; Junior shortstop Kassy Skeen, Junior Catcher Jorryn Bennett, Junior Third Baseman Jadyn Bennett, and Junior Pitcher Kadi Bateman. Bateman was selected as Conference Co-MVP with Timberlake shortstop Shelby Starr.
The Badgers will face Buhl High School in the first round of the State Tournament on Friday at 9 a.m. MDT.
The softball team would like to thank all of our sponsors and those who participated in our kayak raffle fundraiser. Pat Murphy bought the winning ticket, and he was presented with his new kayaks by the softball players on Monday.