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Adyson Morales digs in at the state tourney. (Jackie Saia photos)

They fought to the last swing, and the last click of the camera.

The Whidbey Island All-Star juniors softball squad claimed a district title, then finished fourth at state despite missing key players with injury and illness.

Along the way, team mom Jackie Saia (whose daughter, Teagan Calkins, was on fire at the plate) snapped away, and the pics above and below are courtesy her.

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Adyson Morales and her team had a very-successful postseason run. (Jackie Saia photos)

The run is done.

A four-games-in-four-days odyssey at the state tournament in Vancouver reached its end Tuesday night for the Whidbey Island All-Star juniors softball squad.

Playing without sluggers Savina Wells (illness) and Loto Tupu (injury), the Inferno fell 12-1 to North Kitsap, finishing fourth in an eight-team field.

With the victory, Kitsap advances to face Camas Wednesday night, with the victor squaring off with undefeated Kirkland in the championship round.

Thanks to a 16-0 victory over Camas in the early game Tuesday, Kirkland only needs one more win to claim the state title.

The Kitsap/Camas winner will have to beat Kirkland twice Thursday to come out on top.

Whidbey, which boasts a 14-player roster, with seven girls each from Coupeville and Oak Harbor, went 4-2 after being assembled.

The Inferno swept two games to win the District 11 title, then went 2-2 at state.

After losing a one-run thriller to Camas in its opener Saturday, Whidbey bounced back to eliminate teams from Puyallup and Mukilteo.

And, for a brief moment, it looked like the winning streak might continue.

Inferno hurler Adyson Morales went through Kitsap like a buzz saw in the top of the first inning, setting down their first three hitters in order.

The pride of Oak Harbor did so with a little help from her Coupeville infielders.

The leadoff hitter popped out to Katie Marti at second base, before Madison McMillan made back-to-back strong throws on grounders to third, each rocket landing softly in the waiting glove of Mia Farris.

Mia Farris, an accomplished player with her bat and glove.

Whidbey promptly plopped the game’s first run on the board in the bottom half of the frame, with Haylee Burleigh walking and coming around to score when Kitsap bobbled a hot shot off the bat of Teagan Calkins.

Unfortunately for the Inferno, that was pretty much the moment its offense came to a screeching halt.

The next nine Whidbey hitters went down in order, a cruel streak not broken until McMillan rocketed a one-out single off a Kitsap glove in the bottom of the fourth.

But, before the Inferno could celebrate the moment, Kitsap turned an inning-ending double play, turning a well-hit ball by Morales into a wham-bam twin killing.

Jada Heaton earned much hootin’ and hollerin’ from her teammates when she got drilled by a wayward pitch in the bottom of the fifth, but that was it for Whidbey’s offense.

With just two hits and two walks, life was going to be difficult for the Inferno, and Kitsap kept chip, chip, chippin’ away.

Two runs in the top of the second gave Whidbey’s rivals a lead they wouldn’t lose, then four more tallies in both the third and fourth stretched the lead out.

While Kitsap spent a fair amount of time putting the ball where the Whidbey defenders weren’t, the Inferno did make several strong defensive plays.

McMillan played the hot corner with panache, while catcher Lilly Norman gunned down a would-be base thief, connecting with Burleigh, who slapped on the tag.

While the final result wasn’t another win, Whidbey coach Fred Farris still left the field extremely proud of what his team accomplished.

Drawing players from a much-smaller area than most of their opponents, the Inferno clicked quickly and put together a stirring highlight reel over their run.

“Never been prouder of a group,” Farris said. “Been my honor.”

Most of the Inferno players move on to high school ball after this, with bright futures at the next level.

The team featured Coupeville stars McMillan, Heaton, Mia Farris, Taylor Brotemarkle, Wells, Marti, and Calkins.

Joining them were Oak Harbor diamond queens Tupu, Ramona Ryder, Burleigh, Norman, Morales, Payton Ludemann, and Layla Suto.

One team, one dream.

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