Battle Ground heads to state with help of league tiebreaker win over Union


The Battle Ground softball team, led by Rylee Rehbein’s near-perfect pitching performance, defeated the Union Titans, 13-0, in a tiebreaker game to determine the seed placing in the 4A bi-districts held in Kent on May 19 and May 20.

Rehbein finished the game with 82 pitches over six innings with 11 strikeouts and zero walks. Rehbein’s near-perfect performance was busted in the fourth inning after a bunt by Union led to a missed tag attempt, which allowed the runner to reach first base. Some called the play a hit while others called it an error. The play allowed the only baserunner for Union in the six innings.

“It feels so good to be able to have had a lot of energy leading up to this, just working hard, knowing that it is an important game because it seeds us for districts,” Rehbein said. “Knowing that every game matters from here on out, and so going out with that mindset and just working hard for every single pitch and trying not to take a single pitch off has really been my mindset.”

Rehbein and Candice Togerson combined for three hits with Torgerson bringing in two.

“It felt great. I’ve been in a slump lately, so it felt good to kind of get out of my slump, especially on a pitcher like that,” Torgerson said.

Rehbein will go on to play Division 1 softball at the University of Montana.

“I’m very thankful I’ve gotten to catch for her,” Torgerson, who is a sophomore, said. “I think it gave me a huge opportunity.”

Torgerson also received high praise from her teammate in the circle.

“She’s doing so good. She holds me accountable, which is great,” Rehbein said. “We both work hard for each other and none of my strikeouts would be strikeouts if it weren’t for her with how hard she works behind the plate.”

The Tigers combined for 13 hits with Brooke Rausch and Hailey Ferguson each batting in three.

Battle Ground took a lead of 5-0 in the second inning against Union. The Tigers secured two more runs in the fourth.

Union gave themselves a chance to extend the innings of the game as they held Battle Ground to no runs in the fifth, but the Tigers exploded for six runs in the sixth inning and held Union in their offensive half of the sixth until the game was mercy ruled.

Battle Ground earned the better seed for bi-districts after being announced as the No. 10 seed in the tournament. Union took the No. 15 seed out of 16 teams with a 14-6 regular season record to Battle Ground’s 15-4 record.

“Well, obviously the higher the seed you go the better things look moving ahead,” Battle Ground’s head coach Jeremy Barr said. “The biggest and most important thing for us right now is the girls are clicking, gelling, swinging the bat and playing all the right defense at the right time.”

The Battle Ground Tigers played No. 7 seed Rogers High School of Puyallup, while Union played No. 2 seed Kentwood on Friday, May 19. The Tigers and Union lost their opening games, which resulted in a win-or-go-home matchup between Battle Ground and Union. The Tigers ultimately knocked off Union in a 9-0 game.

The Tigers advanced onto Saturday, May 20. They defeated No. 5 Decatur, 5-1. That win advanced Battle Ground to play the No. 8 team from Tahoma High School where the Tigers punched their ticket to the state playoffs with an 11-1 victory.

Battle Ground is guaranteed two games in the state playoffs. Their first game is slated for 9 a.m. on Friday, May 26, against Glacier Peak at the Columbia Playfields in Richland. The second game will be against either Olympia or Skyview and will take place later that day.