WALLA WALLA - Third baseman Lyndsey Minnich belted a two-out, two-run home run to end a three-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning Friday night, lifting Walla Walla Community College to an 8-7 victory over Yakima Valley in the first game of an NWAACC Eastern Region softball doubleheader at Warrior Field.
Walla Walla took the nightcap, 9-0, behind the three-hit pitching of former Wa-Hi star Alexis Bobadilla. The game was called after 4 1/2 innings due to the eight-run mercy rule.
Walla Walla was 6-4 in league and 12-11 overall prior to a Saturday twin bill at home with Eastern Region-leading Wenatchee Valley.
Yakima Valley scored five times in the first inning of the opener on four hits, and was assisted by three Warrior errors. Bobadilla relieved starting pitcher Elayna Van Hess in the frame.
Walla Walla's response was swift. Walla Walla tallied three times in its half of the first. Bobadilla scored the second run with a single and Danyelle Hutchison contributed a sacrifice fly to center field.
The Warriors drew another run closer in the second when Kelsie Didion - an ex-Mac-Hi product - ripped an RBI single to center.
Didion evened the score at 5-5 with a screaming, run-scoring double in the fourth.
Yakima Valley scored single runs in the fifth and sixth innings.
A YVC error in the seventh opened the door for the Warriors. With one out, Natalie Leyland popped up a pitch on the right side of the infield that was dropped by Yaks' second baseman Camille Mackie. Shaila Rivers followed with a base hit.
Leyland crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly to right by Bobadilla, and Minnich decided the game's outcome by driving a 1-1 pitch over the center-field fence.
"I told the kids (after game one), ‘You've got to come ready to compete,'" WWCC coach Mike Staudenmaier said. "Most of the time, you can't give up five runs in a game - let alone in the first inning.
"Lyndsey has been struggling at the plate, but it was her time to shine," Staudenmaier said of Minnich's long fly.
Walla Walla got RBI singles from Kayla Hutcheson and Jill Haney in claiming a 2-0 lead in the second inning of the finale.
Rivers began the last half of the third with a towering homer to right field that triggered a five-run Walla Walla uprising. Hutcheson drilled a three-RBI triple to center and Haney grounded a run-producing single to left that put the Warriors in front 7-0.
Hutchison ended the scoring in the fourth with a two-run bomb to center.
"It was a good effort," Staudenmaier said. "We were able to come back (in the first game) and get it done (in the second game).
"Alexis did a great job," Staudenmaier said of the 13 innings and change tossed by Bobadilla. "She came in and battled for us and that's all we needed."
YVC 500 011 0 - 7 10 2
WWCC 310 100 3 - 8 12 4
Aimone and Peterson. Van Hess, Bobadilla (1) and Rivers.
HR - WWCC, Minnich.
Hits - YVC: Levale 3, Dorm 2, Peterson 2, Hester, Mackie, Moehrle-Druffel. WWCC: Rivers 2, Jones 2, Didion 2, Minnich 2, Hutcheson 2, N. Leyland, Bobadilla.
YVC 000 00 - 0 3 0
WWCC 025 2x - 9 11 2
Aimone and Peterson. Bobadilla and Rivers.
HR - WWCC, Rivers, Hutchison.
Hits - YVC: Peterson 2, Scott. WWCC: Hutcheson 2, Haney 2, Bobadilla 2, Hutchison 2, Jones, Rivers, Minnich.