Thunder Mountain High School squeezed past their crosstown rivals for the fifth time this year, and in the most important moment: the semifinal of the state championships.
TMHS (10-6) beat Juneau-Douglas High School 5-4 Saturday morning, earning a berth into the 2 p.m. state championship game. The Crimson Bears are still alive, but have to beat North Pole High School in the losers bracket to make it to the championship.
The game turned in the fifth inning when TMHS put up three runs to overtake the lead 5-4. Falcons junior Alondra Echiverri found herself with runners on second and third after some smart base running by Racheal Macauley and Haleigh Dicarlo. Echiverri, who has been one of the Falcons clutch hitters this season, hit a hard grounder to center field which brought Macauley and Dicarlo in for the 4-4 tie.
Echiverri stole second, then tagged up to third when senior Makayla Harp hit a single to JDHS’ shortstop, allowing Echiverri to cross home plate for the winning run.
This is the fifth time Juneau’s two teams have played this season, with the Falcons downing JDHS (9-7) each time. The two teams tied in conference records this season, but TMHS earned the No. 1 seed in the Southeast Conference due to their dominance over JDHS.
The Falcons can sit back and watch the losers bracket final while awaiting their shot at the title. They still haven’t lost in the tournament, so their contenders will have to beat them twice to take the title away.
Look to the Empire online for coverage of Saturday’s final and JDHS’ game against North Pole.