WALLA WALLA - The No. 1- and No. 2-ranked (by earned run average) pitchers in Columbia Basin Big Nine 4A softball lived up to their billing here Friday.
No. 2-ranked Hope Klicker lowered her 1.36 ERA in game one as Klicker faced the minimum in pitching a five-inning no-hitter and striking out 11 Davis hitters as Wa-Hi took the opener, 20-0.
Alyson Ambler, the league-leader with a 0.43 era, lowered her miniscule ERA as Ambler struck out 14 of 15 Pirate batters and pitched a five-inning perfect game as the Blue Devils completed the sweep of the inexperienced Pirates with a 24-0 win in the nightcap.
"We have the luxury of two top quality pitchers," Wa-Hi coach Jerry Humphreys said. "Hope did a nice job with 11 strikeouts in the first game. Al struck out 14 and pops up one, and catches that. She's in on all 15 outs."
A 15-run, 11-hit explosion in the home first of the opener put this one safely away. Libbie Jimenez had three hits in the inning and knocked in four runs to highlight the Blue Devil explosion.
Klicker, in the circle, took it from there as the lefty only gave up two infield pop-ups, a grounder, and catcher Jacie McDaniels gunned down the Pirates' only baserunner after Klicker hit Edith Castre-jon, when Castre-jon tried to steal second.
On the afternoon, that hit batsman was the only Davis runner to reach base and Ambler only allowed the pop-up that she caught in the second game.
"Our infield doesn't get tested," Humphreys said of Klicker's and Ambler's dominance. "We'll work on that in practice because we know that's coming."
"We just try to keep our heads up and make sure we're all in the game," Blue Devil senior third baseman Ashley Bezdicek said. "We're pretty good about that. If someone is down, we'll go over and say, ‘Hey, keep your head up'."
In game one, 12 different Blue Devils scored at least one run and 11 different Blue Devils had at least one hit. Jimenez, Andrea Hamada and Klicker led the way with three hits each.
Wa-Hi put game two away with a 12-run, eight-hit second inning. Bezdicek led the uprising with two hits in the inning and drove in three as Wa-Hi jumped to a 15-0 lead after two innings and never looked back.
"We're always working on situations," Bezdicek said of the Blue Devil approach. "We try to work on anything, to throw off the people in the field, so that when we get to state, we'll be well prepared."
Wa-Hi pounded out 17 game-two hits - for 38 on the afternoon - as Hamada, TraeAnn Payne, Kendsey Hill, Jimenez, Bezdicek and Devyn Humphreys led the way with two each.
The Blue Devils, coupled with the Tuesday sweep of Chiawana, 15-0 and 19-0, outscored their opposition 78-0 on the week.
"Our kids adjusted to slower pitching," Humphreys said. "We were trying to work on hitting the ball hard the other way. The kids did a nice job of setting back and waiting."
Wa-Hi outhit Davis 38-0 in sweeping the last-place Pirates.
"In (batting) practice, (assistant) coach (Arch) McHie went down (in speed) this week," Bezdicek said of Wa-Hi's preparation. "It's hard to recover (from faster) to changeups. It can really throw you off. We work hard to overcome that."
Wa-Hi improves to 9-1 in league and 16-1 overall. The Pirates drop to 0-10 in league.
"Hats off to their coaches and players," Humphreys said. "They don't have a lot of game experience, but they are still coming out and trying to compete."
Wa-Hi closes out the regular season with a non-league battle with Mac-Hi Tuesday at Walla Walla Community College and finishes the league season Friday when Wenatchee visits, and moves onto district play the following week.
"The atmosphere between the girls is awesome," Bezdicek said. "It's really easy to stay focused with each other. It's exciting to be on Richland's home turf (for the district finals). They will think it (homefield) is awesome. For us that will just make us want to bring it even more."
Davis 000 00 - 0 0 8
Wa-Hi (15)31 1x - 20 21 0
Osuna and Fisher; Klicker and McDaniels.
Hits - Davis: none; Wa-Hi: Jimenez 3, Hamada 3, Ambler, Klicker 3, Hill, Gerling 2, Hartford 2, Heiser 2, McDaniels, Smyth 2, Scarborough.
Davis 000 00 - 0 0 8
Wa-Hi 3(12)3 6x - 24 17 0
Turkheim and Fisher; Ambler and Hill.
Hits - Davis: none; Wa-Hi: Hamada 2, Payne 2, Hill 2, Jimenez 2, Ambler, Hartford, Bezdicek 2, Klicker, Gerling, McDaniels, Humphreys 2.