Bears freshman Kalli Ulven had just left the pitching circle with six Bellevue West strikeout victims in just three innings.
When asked what would be more key to a Blair Invitational title, hitting or pitching, she was quick to answer.
“Hitting,” Ulven said.
Ally Lynch and Ulven earned three pitching victories at the Youth Sports Complex on Saturday, but the Bears outscored their opposition 33-6 as well. They clinched their home tourney's championship with a 13-1 win against Ashland-Greenwood.
“Today, as a coaching staff, we were really impressed with each athlete on our team,” BHS coach Jennifer Fangmeier said. “Every single player contributed either offensively, defensively, and with enthusiasm. Today, we officially came together as a team, and we couldn't be prouder of every single girl.”
The Bears started the first-round morning game with 14 runs in addition to Ulven's six-strikeout performance.
“Tessa (Villotta) was framing really well,” the pitcher said of her catcher.
Hannah Koch notched a 3-run homer against the Thunderbirds, while Maria Chesson knocked in two on a second-inning single.
Blair's toughest test of the tournament came next as Fremont took them to extra innings. Ayden Dick provided the walk-off win, scoring Nessa McMillen on a sacrifice fly.
Villotta, meanwhile, hammered a fifth-inning grand slam that put her Bears ahead 4-2. After the Tigers pulled ahead 5-4 with their own long ball, Koch tied the game during the seventh frame.
Ulven finished the 6-5 victory with 16 Ks, while Lynch notched one during Blair's 12-run finals win against Ashland. Villotta added her sixth homer of the season, while both Koch and Hallie Lewis each had two RBIs. Leah Chance and Carmen Warrick added two hits apiece, too.
The Class B No. 9 Bears are 6-3 this season.