WALLA WALLA - DeSales entered its Southeast 2B District 9 softball doubleheader with Liberty Christian on Friday needing just one win to clinch third place and take the No. 3 seed into district tournament action that begins on Tuesday.
The Irish opted instead to double their pleasure at the expense of the visiting Patriots.
Ashlyn Lyons struck out seven over five innings while Molli Lesko and Alex Buley led an 18-hit attack with four hits apiece as DeSales seized the opener, halted in the fifth due to the mercy rule, 13-3.
Lyons collected five hits and seven RBIs in the nightcap and Lesko pitched scoreless ball over the final two frames as the Irish rallied to complete the sweep with a 19-13 triumph.
"She feels she's got to carry the team," DeSales coach Russ Vera said of Lyons. "She comes up big when we need her. She's the heart and soul of our team. Everybody follows her lead."
The victories improved DeSales' season-ending league mark to 8-4.
Liberty Christian, as the league's sixth-place finisher, will return to Walla Walla Tuesday for a loser-out district contest with the Irish. The time has yet to be determined.
DeSales spotted the Patriots a 3-0 lead in the first inning of game two before tallying five times in the home half of the initial frame. Lyons got the Irish on the board with a two-RBI triple into the left-center field alley.
Renee Roach drove in the fourth run of the inning with an infield single. Roach's hit was sandwiched between a pair of passed balls that yielded runs three and five of the stanza.
Liberty Christian got a run back in the second inning prior to a three-run DeSales uprising in the bottom half of panel two. Lesko led off with a double and scored on a home run to center by Lyons.
A passed ball resulted in the final run of the inning and an 8-4 Irish lead.
Each team put up two runs in the third. Lyons delivered a two-run double to right to re-establish a four-run DeSales cushion, 10-6.
The Patriots edged in front, 11-10, with five runs in the fourth and added two more in the fifth to assume a three-run gap, 13-10.
Liberty Christian benefited from 12 walks issued by Lyons (10 over four innings) and Lesko (two in the fifth).
DeSales tied it in the fifth with a trey. Stephanie Ferrel connected for a one-out triple and scored on a wild pitch.
Buley and BobbiePrior contributed RBI singles and the teams headed to the sixth knotted up at 13-13.
The Irish produced six runs in the sixth. Buley had a two-RBI double to bring home the 16th and 17th DeSales runs and Lyons recorded the first RBI of the inning with a two-bagger.
Lesko slammed the door in the seventh. She fanned three and walked an equal number during her stint in the circle.
"Molli got us out of a jam," said Vera, who noted that his team would have forfeited the game if Lesko had not delivered. "She filled the void very well."
Lyons had three hits in game one and Prior chipped in with two. They were two of five Irish players in the game with two RBIs each.
"The girls hit the ball well," Vera said. "It's been hit and miss all season, but everybody got hits."
DeSales suffered a misfortune in the sixth inning of game two when Lyons, playing first base, and Prior, the starting catcher, collided when chasing a foul pop-up down the first-base line. Both will undergo concussion tests today and are questionable for Tuesday's elimination game, Vera said.
LC 200 10 - 3 6 1
DeSales 524 02 - 13 18 1
Peterson and Croskrey; Lyons and Lesko.
HR - none.
Hits - Liberty Christian: Peterson 2, Croskrey 2, Walker, Higgins; DeSales: Lesko 4, Buley 4, Lyons 3, Prior 2, Conley 2, Ferrel, James, Hamada.
LC 312 520 0 - 13 5 4
DeSales 532 036 x - 19 17 4
Higgins, Peterson (1) and Croskrey, Higgins (2), Croskrey (3); Lyons, Lesko (5) and Prior, Lesko (4), Prior (5), Conley (6).
HR - DeSales: Lyons.
Hits - Liberty Christian: Peterson 2, Walker, Croskrey, Nesbit; DeSales: Lyons 5, Roach 3, Ferrel 3, Prior 2, Buley 2, Lesko, James.