BUHL — Until 2015, the Bonners Ferry Badgers had never qualified for the state softball tournament.
Two years later, the Badgers are state champions.
Junior Kadi Bateman threw a pair of complete-game victories on Saturday, including a 7-3 victory Intermountain League rival Timberlake Tigers in the championship game of the state 3A softball tournament on Saturday.
“Bonners, they’re a great team,” Timberlake coach Casi Reisenauer said. “They’re very aggressive, and they capitalize on every little mistake. Kadi Bateman is a great pitcher.”
Bonners Ferry is the first Intermountain League team to win a state 3A title since Lakeland won in 2002 — also at Buhl. Timberlake (19-5) matched its best finish at state in school history. The Tigers were the last IML team to reach the state title game, in 2007.
“It was cool to have two northern teams in the state championship, because I think a lot of times we’re overlooked,” Reisenauer said. “To have us go first and second says something.”
In the title game, sophomore Sydney Watt hit a solo home run in the fourth inning, and the Badgers broke it open with four runs in the fifth.
The teams met in the first game of the day, an 11-0 Bonners win in five innings. Bateman pitched a two-hitter, and Watt hit a two-run homer in a five-run fifth.
Timberlake then eliminated Filer with an 8-6 victory. Idanna Cobb hit two homers for the Wildcats, including two-run shot that put Filer up 3-0 in the top of the fifth. Glori Cheevers tied it for Timberlake with a three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth, and the Tigers took the lead with five runs in the sixth, highlighted by a two-run single by Shelby Starr.
In the title game, Madi Salois hit a two-run homer in the fifth for Timberlake.
BONNERS FERRY 11, TIMBERLAKE 0
Bonners Ferry 113 15 — 11 11 0
Timberlake 000 00 — 0 2 1
Game called after 5 innings due to 10-run rule.
Kadi Bateman and Jorryn Bennett; Shelby Salois, Becca Malloy (4) and Matraca Rocheleau.
HITS: BF — Skeen 2, Jo. Bennett, Bateman, Ja. Bennett 2, Lane, Watt, Jack, Burt, Liermann. TL — Mallet 2. 2B — Bateman 2. 3B — Ja. Bennett. HR — Watt.
TIMBERLAKE 8, FILER 6
Filer 000 121 2 — 6 8 5
Timberlake 000 035 x — 8 14 4
Ryan and Stoddard; Shelby Salois and Matraca Rocheleau.
HITS: Fil — Ryan, Cobb 4, Bartholomew, Farrell, Stoddard. TL — Starr 3, Mallet 2, S. Salois 2, Cheevers 3, McGrath, Rocheleau, Malloy, Lindley. HR — Cobb 2, Cheevers.
BONNERS FERRY 7, TIMBERLAKE 3
Timberlake 000 021 0 — 3 6 2
Bonners Ferry 002 140 x — 7 6 2
Shelby Salois, Becca Malloy (5) and Matraca Rocheleau; Kadi Bateman and Jorryn Bennett.
HITS: TL — Starr 2, Mallet, S. Salois, Cheevers, M. Salois. BF — Jo. Bennett, Bateman, Ja. Bennett 2, Watt, Jackson. 3B — Starr. HR — M. Salois, Watt.