Wolfpack ices Grizzlies in key Wesco 4A rematch | Softball
Last updated 5/3/2019 at Noon
The defending 4A state softball champions showed they are still the team to watch out for in the Wesco 4A.
Behind a masterful performance in the circle and at the plate by senior Iyanla “Ice” De Jesus, Jackson handed Glacier Peak its first league loss of the season.
De Jesus allowed only three hits and drove in two runs to lead the Timberwolves to a 5-1 victory over the Grizzlies Wednesday, April 24, at Jackson High School.
Glacier Peak defeated the Wolfpack 2-1 in a late March matchup at Glacier Peak High School.
“I think it definitely boosted our confidence, especially since we did lose to them the last time,” De Jesus said of Jackson’s victory.
In the first inning, De Jesus jump-started the Jackson offense, smacking the first pitch into center field for a single and eventually coming around to score on a double by Macy Tarbox. The Jackson senior pitcher drove in two runs with a single in the second inning, doubled in the fourth and drew a walk in the sixth.
“I felt like I swung at the right pitches,” De Jesus said. “I pitched pretty well. They capitalized on my mistakes. In the postseason, I’ll be ready.”
Jackson finished with seven hits and had runners on base in all but one inning.
“We just wanted to be aggressive,” Jackson coach Kyle Peacocke said. “We wanted to swing the bats hard. I think the first time we played them we were a little bit tentative and we just wanted to come out and go early in the count. That’s what we did.”
De Jesus kept the Grizzlies in check until the sixth when Phoebe Schultz and Haley Winckler had back-to-back hits that eventually produced Glacier Peak’s lone run. The Jackson right-hander quickly shut down the Grizzlies’ comeback with a strikeout and game-ending groundout.
“She’s an incredible player,” Peacocke said. “She was awesome. She threw a lot more change-ups today than I think she’s thrown in the past, which probably threw them off a little bit. And then she was just real clutch swinging the bat for us. She’s a great leader.”
Glacier Peak coach Stefanie Celix said that her team battled hard against a great team.
“We need moments like this. We need moments where we need to grow and learn,” she said. “This is what this game is. We’re going to take the pieces, break it apart and go forward.”
Celix liked the approach the Grizzlies took at the plate in the seventh inning.
“They knew what they needed to do,” she said. “They said, ‘Let’s pull it together. Let’s get confident and do our job’ and they did it. The batters who came up did their jobs.”
Glacier Peak (10-1 in the league, 14-3 overall) started the week tied for first place in the league with Lake Stevens (10-1, 14-2) with Jackson (10-2, 16-2) right behind them. The Grizzlies beat the Vikings 6-3 earlier in the season. Those two teams are scheduled to face off in the regular season finale on Tuesday, May 7.
“I’m excited to see how these girls grow from this opportunity,” Celix said. “A loss is a learning opportunity and every team needs those opportunities to grow.”
Jackson, which lost 4-1 to the Vikings in early April, heads out on the road for a rematch with Lake Stevens at 4 p.m., Friday, May 3.
“Against a good team (Glacier Peak), we played a really clean game and up and down the lineup, one through nine, the girls just really battled,” Peacocke said.
It’s likely Jackson, Glacier Peak and Lake Stevens will meet again in the Wes-King District tournament.
“Glacier Peak, Lake Stevens and us, we’re all in the top 10 in the state,” Peacocke said. “There are going to be a lot of close battles in the postseason.”