PHOTO GALLERY - Blue Devils sweep past Riverhawks softball

Wa-Hi's softball team hands Chiawana 19-0 and 15-0, five-inning losses Tuesday at Murr Field.



Wa-Hi's Libbie Jimenez flies to third base, then just slips under the tag of Chiawana's Melanie Cantu in a cloud of dust during first-inning play during the first of two games Tuesday afternoon at Murr Field. Jimenez went on to score the Blue Devils' first run of the day in an 11-run first inning.


Beating the ball, Wa-Hi's Janelle Hartford streaks to 2nd base during a brief downpour in the first game against Chiawana Tuesday afternoon.


Wa-Hi's Libbie Jimenez fires the ball to 1st base for the rainy out against Chiawana in first game action.


Wa-Hi's Hope Klicker rails a hit against Chiawana.


Wa-Hi's Libbie Jimenez flies to 3rd base then just slips under the tag of Chiawana's Melanie Cantu in a cloud of dust (see UNDER THE TAG) during first inning play of the first of two games Tuesday afternoon at Wa-Hi. Jimenez went on to score the Blue Devils' first run of the day in an explosive first inning.


Wa-Hi's Libbie Jimenez gets high-fives from the dugout after scoring the first of many Blue Devil runs Tuesday afternoon versus Chiawana. First game. First inning.


Floating just above the field, Wa-Hi pitcher Alyson Ambler delivers an air strike to Chiawana.


Wa-Hi's Mariah Gerling gets to 2nd base before Chiawana's Katie Arendt can bring the tag down.


Just beaming in the rain of first game action Tuesday afternoon against visiting Chiawana, Wa-Hi's Janelle Hartford had plenty to smile about---even with bouts of steady drizzle---as the Blue Devils trounced the Riverhawks with the mercy rule in 5 innings for both their games.


The parking lot of the field might qualify as the really cheap seats, but this dog had the best seat in the house during the sporadic bouts of rain that plagued the first game of the Wa-Hi versus Chiawana match-up Tuesday afternoon.

WALLA WALLA - Chiawana picked up the brunt of Wa-Hi's frustration after its first regular-season Columbia Basin Big Nine softball loss since 2009 occurred last Friday.

This time, it was the Blue Devils handing out disappointment as they sent the Riverhawks home with two five-inning shutouts.

The Blue Devils won 19-0 and 15-0, while pitchers Alyson Ambler and Hope Klicker allowed the Riverhawks two walks and two hits through the alternatively rainy and sunny day.

"We had a tough practice (Monday) and it was nice to see them come out (Tuesday) with a lot of great energy," Wa-Hi coach Jerry Humphreys said. "They opened it up right from the first inning. They're a pretty resilient crew."

Libbie Jimenez opened the first inning of game one with a single, and Wa-Hi was two batters short of going through the order twice as it racked up 11 runs off eight hits to open the day.

The Blue Devils scored five more in the second and three in the fourth in the 19-0 win.

Ambler struck out 10 in the opener, allowing just one runner to advance on balls.

"We were ready to get back in and win," Ambler said. "The loss was a builder for us. We knew we needed to build off of it and come back. We were ready."

The Blue Devils lost the second game of Friday's doubleheader to Richland, which is also the only league team to beat them last season in district play.

"We have a great relationship with Richland. We play summer ball with some of them, so we know what the other will bring," Ambler said. "We're looking forward to seeing them again at districts."

Ambler helped herself in game one with three hits and four RBI. Klicker contributed four hits and four RBI to the effort.

Game two opened like a different story. Fierce showers passed, leaving a sunny field, and Chiawana pitcher Whitney Weber faced four batters in the first inning, giving up just one hit.

But the Riverhawks' peace wouldn't hold.

Klicker notched three strikeouts in the first eight batters, allowing one to base on balls, before Wa-Hi's onslaught opened in the bottom of the second.

TraeAnn Payne singled as Wa-Hi batted through the order plus three in the six-run, four-hit attack for a sudden 6-0 Blue Devils lead.

The Blue Devils put up another three in the third and six in the fourth for the win, with contributions from some players who hadn't seen much varsity time.

Mattie Smyth had two hits, including a triple, while Jacie McDaniels caught the complete JV first game and then came in for the second varsity game, hitting a double and single. Savanah Scarborough also singled.

"We have strong regulars and good kids in the dugout who get the job done," Humphreys said.

Klicker struck out four and walked two, allowing the Riverhawks two hits.

"They got the hit off me, but it was good for the team and the outfield to handle the ball," Klicker said. "We're mature enough and we realize that it's hard to go undefeated in a season. We hit the ball like we normally do and did our work (today)."

For Klicker, and the rest of the team, Friday's loss will just push them harder.

"Right afterward, we talked about it, and we knew that it was a speed bump. We'd rather lose to them now than lose later," she said.

And with a 14-1 overall record and 7-1 league mark, the Blue Devils are ready to keep going.

They host Davis - which fell to Chiawana earlier this season - in a 4 p.m. doubleheader Friday.

Although Humphreys expects his team to be prepared, he's not taking chances.

"Those games scare me almost more than the league leaders," he said. "But we'll play our game and see what happens."

First Game

Chiawana 000 00 - 0 0 4

Wa-Hi (11)50 3x - 19 13 0

Ambler and Hill. Axelson and Heine.

Hits - Chia: none. Wa-Hi: Jimenez, Hamada, Ambler 3, Klicker 4, Payne 2, Hill, Hartford.

Second Game

Chiawana 000 00 - 0 2 2

Wa-Hi 063 6x - 15 18 1

Klicker and McDaniels; Weber, Axelson (4) and Heine.

Hits - Chia: Cantu, Heine. Wa-Hi: Jimenez 3, Ambler, Klicker 2, Payne 4, Gerling 3, Bezdicek, Smyth 2, McDaniels, Scarborough.


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