Richland bites Wa-Hi with first regular-season loss since '09

Wa-Hi wins the opener, 7-2, but drops the nightcap, 6-4, in its first regular-season loss since 2009.

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RICHLAND - Wa-Hi's last regular-season softball loss came May 1, 2009, against Kamiakin.

Until this weekend.

On Friday, the Blue Devils fell to Richland in the second game of a Columbia Basin Big Nine doubleheader, 5-4, despite home runs by Andrea Hamada, Alyson Ambler and TraeAnn Payne.

The Blue Devils topped the Bombers in the opener at Bomber field, 7-2, but an early Blue Devil lead was relinquished in the bottom of the third in game two for the loss.

"We went undefeated in league last year and it would've been nice to do it again this year, but it wasn't in the cards for us," said Wa-Hi coach Jerry Humphreys. "Richland played a great game and they took advantage of the opportunities we gave them.

"If you give a good team chances, they'll bite, and we got bit."

Hamada and Ambler hit back-to-back homers for a 2-1 lead in the third inning of game two, but Richland knocked out three runs in the bottom of the stanza to take over, 4-2. Dora Hernandez hit a two-RBI single for the lead. Hernandez went 5-of-6 for the day and had four RBI.

Payne's solo home run came in the fourth, moving the teams to a tie, but Richland answered in the bottom of the inning, then replaced pitcher Paige Goulet with game one pitcher Lindsey Walchli.

"We hit the ball hard, but we just couldn't find a place to put it," Humphreys said. "We were hitting it right at people, so it was a little frustrating. They did a nice job offensively in getting hits off of Hope (Klicker)."

Starting pitcher and All-State player Klicker was replaced by Ambler in the fifth inning, when the Bombers already had a 5-3 lead.

Wa-Hi hit one more run in the sixth but it wasn't enough in the loss.

"Alyson came in and shut them down," Humphreys said. "She did a great job on the mound today, and in hitting."

Ambler pitched the complete-game effort in game one, picking up the 7-2 win for the Blue Devils. She also hit a two-run homer and sent 11 Bombers back to the bench with strikeouts. On the day, Ambler had two home runs and three hits.

Wa-Hi is 12-1 overall and 5-1 in league with the split. They host Chiawana at 4 p.m. Tuesday in their first home league games of the year.

First Game

Wa-Hi 210 200 0 - 7 14 1

Richland 010 000 1 - 2 6 3

Ambler and Hill; Walchli and Burch.

HR - Wa-Hi: Ambler.

Hits - Wa-Hi: Jimenez 2, Hamada 2, Ambler 2, Klicker 2, Payne 3, Hill, Hartford, Bezdicek. Richland: Hernandez 3, Walthers, Chambers, Burch.

Second Game

Wa-Hi 002 101 0 - 4 9 2

Richland 013 100 x - 5 8 0

Klicker, Ambler (5) and Hill; Goulet, Walchli (4) and Burch.

HR - Wa-Hi: Hamada, Ambler, Payne.

Hits - Wa-Hi: Jimenez, Hamada, Ambler, Payne 2, Klicker 2, Hartford, Scarborough. Richland: Walthers 2, Hernandez 3, Burch 2, Chambers.

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