Wa-Hi softball clinches division title Friday

The still-undefeated Blue Devils sweep Kamiakin to take the Cascade Division softball title.

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KENNEWICK - Wa-Hi remained undefeated and clinched the Cascade Division softball title at Lawrence Scott Park here Friday.

The Blue Devils put pitching and hitting together to sweep Kamiakin, 9-2 and 5-0, to improve to 12-0 in the division and 17-0 overall.

Hope Klicker battled the wind and the Braves hitters to pick up the win in the circle with a six-hitter in the opener.

Alyson Ambler closed out the sweep with a one-hit shutout in the nightcap.

"Hope's ERA (earned run average) is at .43 and Al's is .66 through 17 games," Blue Devil coach Jerry Humphreys said. "It's amazing to have two pitchers with ERAs under one. When we get them some run support, they are pretty tough to beat."

And the offense supplied the support as the Blue Devils pounded out 15 hits in the opener and 10 in the nightcap.

Andrea Hamada got the Blue Devils off to a fast start in the opener. Following a Jill McDaniels lead-off single in the top of the first, Hamada missed a bunt attempt and then smashed a two-run homer, and the Blue Devils had the lead for good.

"I should've given her the home run sign first," Humphreys joked. "Her homer set the tone and we went from there."

The Blue Devils played add-on with four in the third, two in the fifth and one in the sixth to take a 9-0 lead to the home sixth.

Stephanie Hunter's two-run single narrowed the Wa-Hi lead to 9-2. Lindsey Kamphuis, with a runner at second and no outs, drilled a line shot to center, but Paige Pontarolo was there to snag it and double the Brave runner off second. Klicker got the last out and the Blue Devils were home in game one.

"We did a nice job to shut it (sixth inning rally) down," Humphreys said. "Hope (Klicker) pitched a nice game. The wind was howling and made it tough on the pitchers to work their normal routine. I was happy that we gave Hope some runs to take the pressure off."

Hamada added two hits to go with her home run, and Alicia Baker collected three hits, including Wa-Hi's second homer of the game, to pace the Blue Devil 15-hit attack.

A three-run third inning outburst from the Wa-Hi offense broke up a scoreless battle in the nightcap and gave Ambler all she would need. She went on to post a five-strikeout, one-hit shutout. Katie Martell got Kamiakin's only hit.

"Al (Ambler) came back with a one-hitter," Humphreys said. "She did a phenomenal job. She did a great job of trusting her defense."

The Blue Devils backed Ambler with a 10-hit attack. McDaniels led the way with four hits, giving her six hits on the day. Vicki Reardon collected three as Wa-Hi completed the sweep.

"Jill (McDaniels) is swinging the bat real well," Humphreys said. "(Catcher Vicki) Reardon had three RBIs and is just crushing the ball and has been calling great games."

The Blue Devils close out the division and home play in the regular season with senior day Tuesday against Hanford at 4 p.m.

Wa-Hi, with its division championship, is now guaranteed a home game to open district play. The Blue Devils will host the No. 4 seed from the Columbia Division May 13.

First Game

Wa-Hi 204 021 0 - 9 15 1

Kamiakin 000 002 0 - 2 6 3

Klicker and Reardon; Kamphuis and Miracle.

HR - Wa-Hi: Hamada, Baker.

Hits - Wa-Hi: McDaniels 2, Hamada 3, Ambler, Klicker 2, Reardon, Fortune, Pontarolo 2, Baker 3; KaHS: Garner, Hunter, Martell 2, Kamphuis, Fesern.

Second Game

Wa-Hi 003 011 0 - 5 10 1

Kamiakin 000 000 0 - 0 1 1

Ambler and Reardon ; Martell and Miracle.

HR - none.

Hits - Wa-Hi: McDaniels 4, Klicker, Reardon 3, Fortune, Bezdicek; KaHS: Martell.

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