Klicker has perfect game for Wa-Hi

The Blue Devils' pitchers throw two five-inning, no-hit games in Friday's sweep of Chiawana.

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WALLA WALLA - Wa-Hi's Hope Klicker and Alyssa Ambler tossed a pair of five-inning no-hitters, including a perfect game by Klicker, in a Big Nine Conference Cascade Division sweep of Chiawana here Friday.

Klicker fanned nine Riverhawks and walked none while the Blue Devils belted 14 hits around the Murr Field diamond in the 13-0 first-game win.

Then Ambler set down 10 and gave up one free pass in her no-hit 11-0 shutout of Chiawana.

The wins give Wa-Hi a 2-0 division record and a 5-0 record on the season as they enter spring break this week.

"You get a perfect game with nine strikeouts. And then you get a 10-strikeout no-hitter. You don't have to score very many runs to be on the winning end there," a smiling Wa-Hi coach Jerry Humphreys said.

Klicker, a junior, came closest to issuing a walk to the first batter in the fourth inning of the opener. She fired three pitches off the plate for a 3-0 count to lead-off batter Cela Cruz.

Senior catcher Vicky Reardon visited the mound. After the two spoke briefly, Klicker smoked across eight consecutive strikes, including foul balls, and fanned Cruz swinging.

Klicker struck out the next two batters before closing out the perfect game in the fifth.

"I didn't say anything," a happy Reardon said after the twin bill. "Hope took a deep breath and said, ‘Time for a break.' So, we took a little break, and she went right back to work. And she got the job done."

Although Ambler walked Cruz to lead off the fourth inning of the second game, she still faced the minimum 15 batters in the game.

With Cruz on first, the Riverhawks' single base runner on the day, Ambler induced a line drive to the mound from Katie Axelson.

Ambler, a sophomore, speared the drive, fired to first for the double play and fanned the No. 3 hitter, Katie Arendt, to end the inning.

Ambler fanned the side in the fifth to end the second game.

"I love my pitchers," Reardon said. "They've been working on coming out every inning with the same intensity that they have in the first inning.

"They really are doing their job," she said. "They're putting the ball where they need to put it. When you get a perfect game, you can't say much else.

"Hope and Alyson each have their distinctive qualities," Reardon said. "They both throw hard, and they pride themselves on their variety of pitches. They know where to pitch each batter with certain pitches.

"We're getting in our grove," she added. "And things are looking good for this time in the season."

Eight Blue Devils slammed hits in the opening game, with five belting at least two safeties, led by Ambler with three hits and Jill McDaniels, Andrea Hamada, Ashley Bezdicek and Paige Pontarolo with two hits each.

Pontarolo led the slugging category with an inside-the-park home run.

Ambler, Reardon and Bezdicek each cranked out a triple.

Hamada, Ambler, Pontarolo and Baker each drilled a double.

Ambler led the runs-batted-in parade with four, and Bezdicek knocked in three runs, and that was just in the opener.

In the second game, Wa-Hi ripped eight hits in the first inning for a 7-0 lead. Ambler, Klicker and Courtney Zaro each had an RBI in the inning.

Leading that game's 14-hit Blue Devil attack, Megan Ocanaz collected three hits while McDaniel, Klicker and Baker chipped in two hits each.

"The kids did great," Humphreys said. "Chiawana's pitchers threw the ball pretty hard. Our kids timed them well, and were just on it.

"We're a good-hitting team," Humphreys continued. "The kids like to hit. They like to run, and it's fun to watch them play.

"We are happy right now, although we also realize that the toughest part of our schedule is ahead of us," Humphreys added. "We're happy to be in the spot we're in right now and knowing that we have some work to do. The kids are excited." .

Wa-Hi breaks for spring vacation this week and next plays April 6 at Southridge.

"Southridge is a good team," Humphreys said. "They're going to be one of the top ones in the league."

First Game

Chiawana 000 00 - 0 0 3

Wa-Hi 541 3x - 13 14 0

Axelson and Sanaski; Klicker and Reardon.

Hits - Chiawana: None; Wa-Hi: McDaniels 2, Hamada 2, Ambler 3, Klicker, Reardon, Bexdicek 2, Pontarolo 2, Baker.

Second Game

Chiawana 000 00 - 0 0 3

Wa-Hi 704 0x - 11 14 0

Downs and Sanaski; Ambler and Reardon. Hill (4).

Hits - Chiawana: None. Wa-Hi: McDaniel 2, Pontarolo, Fortune, Klicker 2, Reardon, Garcia, Zaro, Ocanaz 3, Baker 2.

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