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In clutch moments, fifth-ranked Redmond finally closes the door on another WIAA softball championship

Tia Milloy's RBI double in the seventh inning drives in the game-winning run, and Redmond turns away No. 6 Skyview for its first Class 4A title since 1992

SPOKANE - If it was a normal Saturday, Grace Haegele might have been in bed with a bowl of chicken noodle soup near her nightstand.

But this was no ordinary day. It was what two standout Class 4A programs dreamed of when they began the spring - playing for a state championship trophy.

An ailing-with-the-flu Haegele went the distance - with up-and-down results. But the University of Montana signee got the final flyout to right field to wrap up fourth-ranked Redmond's 7-6 victory over No. 5 Skyview at Dwight Merkel Sports Complex.

It was Redmond's third state softball title in school history - and first since it won in the Class 3A ranks in 2017.

Haegele surrendered 11 hits - four of them for extra bases, including a two-run home run to Addie Harmier in the first inning.

But her lone three-up, three-down inning? The final three outs to get the Mustangs' celebration underway.

"She fought through it," Redmond softball coach Mike Pluschke said. "All of the adversity."

At least Redmond had its ace pitcher. The Storm rode the back of ninth grader Maddie Milhorn, the 4A GSHL pitcher of the year, all spring. But near the end of the earlier state semifinal game Saturday against No. 1 Jackson, she injured her knee - and was out the rest of the way.

Skyview turned to another ninth grader - Reese Perdue - who was the team's primary junior-varsity pitcher this season. Under the circumstances - facing a loaded Redmond lineup in a state title game - she performed valiantly.

"We had to count on Reese," Skyview softball coach Kim Anthony said, "and she kept us in it."

Haegele snapped a 5-5 tie with her solo home run to center field with one out in the sixth inning.

Redmond wins WIAA 2022 Class 4A softball title over Skyview in Spokane

Redmond won its third WIAA softball title in school history - and first since 2017 when in the Class 3A ranks.

The Storm answered on Lauren Johnson's RBI double in the right-center gap with two outs in the sixth inning to tie it up again - 6-6.

But, as Pluschke predicted hours before first pitch - this would be a game decided by the best players in the biggest moments.

With two outs in the seventh inning, up stepped 4A KIngCo player of the year Tia Milloy, who was hitless in four previous at-bats against Perdue.

"I had not helped my team earlier in the game," Milloy said. "I knew in that moment not to make it about me, and not to make it bigger than what it was.

"I stepped in the (batter's) box confident."

Indeed, she did, roping the second pitch she saw into right center for the game-winning RBI double.

"Tia is 'The One,'" Haegele said. "She is going to make this team, and continue the legacy we've worked so hard to create since my freshman year. ... It's going to be fun to watch."

Haegele then sent down the Storm in order, getting Skylar Groesbeck to fly out to right to end the game.

"I like to get a little pumped up every time I feel like I did something for the team," Haegele said.

Even hoarse, that championship tasted better than any chicken noodle soup.