DIRECTOR – The Warden High School Lady Cougars softball team is back, paving the way for the state tournament.

“I’ve known these girls for a long time, so I think we’re just grinding and staying on pace to take our state. That’s our goal,” said head coach Randy Wright.

In the 2B classification, the Lady Cougars are ranked #4 in the state on the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s Rating Percentage Index. They hold an overall record of 13-1-0 and are No. 1 in the league.

The team has a habit of declaring itself almost every year since 2003. The last time the Lady Cougars competed in the state was the last time the state fastball tournament was held, in the spring of 2019. That year, Warden was still in the 1A ranking.

In the 2019 tournament, Warden lost in the state first round to Elma, 7-4. Despite that loss, Warden went on to win his next five games over Colville, Mt. Baker, Cle Elum-Roslyn, Elma, and Forks to place third in the state.

District 5 will only have three spots for the District Tournament State Tournament. This means that both teams in the District Championship Game will have guaranteed tickets to declare regardless of the outcome of the Championship Game, as well as the team that places third.

When asked why he thought this group of girls specifically had a chance to take it all, Wright replied, “I would say their experience, even the younger ones, they have a lot of experience in the ball game. They play a lot at the club and spend a lot of time there. They have been playing since they were little. Just a good group of athletes overall. They work well together.

The team still has three regular season meetings. Next up is a doubleheader against River View High School in River View on May 6.

The next match will be against Royal High School on May 10 at Warden, a game that Wright says will be one people won’t want to miss.

The final game is May 13 against League opponent Dayton-Waitsburg at Warden.

While Warden’s season appears to stretch closer to the district and state tournament than most other teams in the pool, Wright said it was done on purpose to try to schedule games for better weather and to have less break between the last regular season game and the playoffs.

Rebecca Pettingill can be reached at [email protected]

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