The Soldotna softball team clinched a berth to state by defeating Skyview 15-0 in three innings on Thursday at the Soldotna Little League fields.
The Stars improved to 8-7 overall and 6-1 in the Northern Lights Conference while the Panthers remained winless on the year. Soldotna is going to state for the second time in three years and the second time in the program's five-year history.
"We were one out away (from going to state) last year," Soldotna coach Dave Cleveland said. "That was kind of our goal this year -- not to give away any more outs at a team.
"Our goal was to drive to state. Now that we've made it to state, our goal is to win state."
With Savannah Hegge on the mound, the Stars should have a shot. Hegge tossed a no-hitter on Thursday, striking out seven.
On offense, Mariah Darrow was 1-for-2 with a triple and an RBI, Nikki Hegge was 1-for-2 with two RBIs, Brittnie Thayer was 1-for-2 with a triple and four RBIs and Maddie Tice was 1-for-2 with an RBI. Cleveland said everybody had at least one hit.
The coach also said he continues to see improvement from the Panthers, who are in their first varsity season.
"They played much better than they did in the last game," Cleveland said. "Their defense was pretty good. We just had some good hitting."
Soldotna will travel to Anchorage to face Chugiak at 6 p.m. and West at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. On Saturday, Soldotna will face Bartlett at 10:45 a.m. and South at 12:30 p.m.
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