Down but not out, the East Thunderbirds won four straight games Saturday to repeat as the Division I high school softball champions.
The T-birds beat Dimond twice at Cartee Field to relegate the Lynx to the runnerup spot for the second straight year. They won the first game 7-2 to force the if-necessary game in the double-elimination tournament, and they won the second game 11-2.
It was the eighth straight championship-game appearance for East, which won four straight crowns from 2012-15 and finished second to South in 2016-17.
The T-birds captured their latest title the hard way. They fell into the losers bracket Friday with a 9-7 loss to West Valley but stayed alive with a 10-2 win over Chugiak later that day.
On Saturday, East avenged the loss to West Valley by eliminating the Wolf Pack 13-1. At the same time on a different field, Dimond handed South an 11-3 loss in a winners-bracket game to advance to the title game. Then East eliminated South 2-1 to join Dimond in the championship.
The Division II tournament also needed an if-necessary game.
Sitka bounced back from a bruising 22-9 loss to Ketchikan in the first championship game to win the second one 11-3. The victory gave the Wolves their seventh state title and their first since 2015. Ketchikan finished second for the second straight year.
Sitka survived a morning winners-bracket game against Kodiak, 13-12, to move into the championship game. Ketchikan advanced by winning Saturday elimination games against Homer and Kodiak.
The all-Southeast showdown was nothing new for Division II softball. Southeast teams have dominated the tournament since its creation in 2005, taking home 13 of the 15 championships. Sitka won the first title, took four straight from 2010-13 and added a sixth crown in 2015.
ASAA/First National Bank state softball championships
East 11, Dimond 2, if-necessary game
East 7, Dimond 2, championship game
Dimond 11, South 3, winners bracket
East 2, South 1, loser out
East 13, West Valley 1, loser out
Sitka 11, Ketchikan 3, if-necessary game
Ketchikan 22, Sitka 9, championship game
Sitka 13, Kodiak 12, winners bracket
Ketchikan 14, Kodiak 8, loser out
Ketchikan 9, Homer 1, loser out