Eagle High made history when it assumed the No. 1 spot in the CBS MaxPreps Xcellent 25 national softball rankings Tuesday.
The Mustangs then hit the field for the 5A District Three Tournament semifinals and continued to do what they have all season — dominate.
Twin sisters Martha and Olivia Tooley each hit home runs, and 10 Mustangs combined for 18 hits in a 17-0, five-inning victory over Mountain View. The win sends Eagle to state for the 19th time in 20 years while setting up a district championship game against Boise on Thursday.
“It’s a really big honor to know that people are noticing what we are doing and how hard we are working,” Martha said. “To get the No. 1 ranking today was pretty special, and to come out here and get a big win to move us into the championship was pretty cool.”
Of Eagle’s 25 wins, all but five have ended early because of the 10-run mercy rule. The Mustangs have outscored opponents 343-21 while belting 58 home runs. The single-season national record for home runs is 71.
The defending state champions have lost just one game the past two seasons, falling in last year’s district semifinals to Mountain View.
There would be no repeat upset for the Mavericks this season.
“I would say they’ve been hungry for this game since last year, since the day we lost it last year,” Eagle coach Nicole Rollins said.
Senior pitcher Bradie Fillmore, who has signed with Cal, drained the Mavericks’ confidence from the opening pitch, striking out the first three batters she faced and 10 overall while allowing just two hits.
“Coming into this game, I think a lot of us had the memory of last year of this exact game at the same time when we got knocked down,” said Fillmore, who went 3-for-4 at the plate with a double and two RBIs. “It felt awesome to come out here and do as good as we did.”
Martha Tooley hit her two-run shot in the first inning to open the scoring, and Eagle led 4-0 after one, followed by eight runs in the second and five in the third. “One of our goals is to win that district championship,” Tooley said. “We’re going to come guns blazing.”
The 5A state tournament is May 20-21 at Bonneville High in Idaho Falls.
BOISE 11, ROCKY MOUNTAIN 10 (9 INNINGS)
Boise senior Isabelle Butler scored on sophomore shortstop Grace Shimatsu’s sacrifice fly to left field in the top of the ninth inning for a one-run advantage, and relief pitcher Trinity Cook retired Rocky’s first three batters in the bottom of the inning to preserve the win.
“We had a lot of injuries early on, and we had a tough run in the middle of the season where we lost to the top three teams by one run each time,” Boise coach Brian Barber said. “We’ve just steadily gotten better.”
The sixth-seeded Braves qualified for state for the third time in four seasons with upset wins over No. 3 Capital and No. 2 Rocky Mountain.
Boise led 8-3 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, then saw its five-run lead disappear with back-to-back home runs from Rocky’s Katelyn Wilfert and Tommy MacDonald.
The teams were tied 8-8 after seven innings, and 10-10 through eight.
“This field is a launching pad. The way the wind’s blowing, it always is,” Barber said. “So we knew it was going to be a dog fight to the end.’’
Rocky Mountain and Boise combined for seven home runs, including sophomore catcher Ambryn Fortier’s two-run bomb for the Braves that shattered the windshield of a car parked adjacent to the field.
“If you think that you might get hit, then don’t park there,” Fortier joked after the game.
Five Treasure Valley softball teams have qualified for next week’s state tournaments:
▪ 5A: Boise (17-8), Eagle (25-0)
▪ 4A: Kuna (18-6-1), Middleton (20-3)
▪ 3A: Homedale (22-2)