WALLA WALLA - Mount Hood Community College pushed a run across in the top of the eighth inning to defeat Walla Walla Community College, 3-2, in the opener of a non-division NWAACC softball doubleheader.
The Warriors responded with a 10-hit second-game attack to earn a 10-6 victory and gain a split with the two-time defending NWAACC champion Saints.
"The kids played great today," WWCC coach Mike Staudenmaier said. "That (Mount Hood) is a tough team. They're ranked 1. So for us, being scrappy and young and still learning the game, I'm feeling pretty good with how we are playing."
Former Wa-Hi ace Alexis Bobadilla sailed into the fourth inning with a one-hit shutout in a scoreless battle with the Saints.
The Saints got singles from Jade Kealiinohomoku and Alexis Cline, and a two-out RBI single from MacKenzie Samuelson to grab a 1-0 lead.
Samuelson added a two-out, run-scoring double in the top of the sixth to put Mount Hood up 2-0.
The Warriors answered in the home sixth as Katie Martell reached on a one-out Saints' error.
One out later, Sami Verity doubled home Josi Verity, who ran for Martell. Shelbi King followed with a double to left, and Sami Verity scooted home with the tying run.
Warrior centerfielder Mercedes Pearson sent this one to extra innings. In the Saints' seventh, Pearson fielded a single off the bat of Jessica Guy and gunned down Brittany Chestnut at the plate to keep it even at 2-2.
The Warriors got a two-out single from Kaylie Winston, but nothing more in the home seventh.
In the top of the eighth, Samuelson struck again. Samuelson collected her third hit, third RBI of the game, with a two-out double to center as Cline, who reached on a walk, barely beat a Pearson-to-Jill McDaniels-to-Winston relay to score what stood up as the game winner.
Bobadilla went the distance in the circle for WWCC and struck out seven.
"We just came up short," Staudenmaier said. "We battled back and were right there and had a chance. Alexis pitched great."
In game two, Guy's opposite field double staked the Saints to a 1-0 lead with the Warriors coming to bat in the home first.
The Warriors took advantage of three Saints errors, sent 11 hitters to the plate, and scored seven times before Mount Hood could put out the fire.
Dara Kosanke led the five-hit Warrior first inning with two hits, the second of which was an RBI double that capped the five-run explosion.
Martell's two-run single and Pearson's two-run double set up Kosanke's culminating first-inning blow.
A dropped fly ball and singles from Bobadilla and Martell tacked on two more Warrior runs for a 9-1 WWCC lead after two innings.
The Saints clawed back and cut the lead to 10-6 following a sacrifice fly to center by Guy in the Saint sixth.
Kosanke, who went the distance for the Warriors in the circle, worked a scoreless seventh and the Warriors had the split.
Kosanke, Winston, Martell, and Pearson each collected two hits to lead the Warrior 10-hit attack.
The Warriors improved to 6-2 on the season.
"It was a good day," Staudenmaier said. "It's early, but it's nice to be 6-2 and playing really well with a young group."
The Warriors traveled to Richland to host a preseason tourney Saturday and today.
MHCC 000 101 01 - 3 9 2
WWCC 000 002 00 - 2 8 1
Anderson, Schriber (4) and Cline; Bobadilla and Winston.
HR - none.
Hits - MHCC: Cline 2, Kealiinohomoku, Samuelson 3, Chestnut, Guy, Lindsey; WWCC: Kosanke, McDaniels, King 2, Martell 2, S. Verity, Winston.
MHCC 103 011 0 - 6 12 6
WWCC 720 100 x - 10 10 2
Groom, Anderson (2) and Cline; Kosanke and Winston.
HR - none.
Hits - MHCC: Lindsey 3, Guy 3, Kealiinohomoku, Cline 2, Groom 2, Brokaw; WWCC: Kosanke 2, Winston 2, Martell 2, Pearson 2, Bobadilla, McDaniels.