Wa-Hi meets softball goals

The Blue Devils down Wenatchee to play Richland for the district title, and then avenge their only loss.

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RICHLAND - Wa-Hi met four goals here Saturday in District 4A softball action.

The Blue Devils survived a battle with Wenatchee with a 5-1 win to earn a spot in the district final.

The Blue Devils avenged their only loss of the season by defeating Richland, 10-1.

The Blue Devils won the district championship thanks to their two wins.

And most importantly, Wa-Hi, with the wins, advances to the regional tournament needing a win to earn a berth in the 4A softball state tourney in Spokane May 27.

Hope Klicker started in the circle for the Blue Devils against Wenatchee. Klicker, the recently named Blue Mountain Sports Awards Female Athlete of the Year, was greeted by Haylee Douglas.

Douglas led off the Panther first with a single.

Wa-Hi catcher Kendsey Hill nailed Douglas on an attempted steal, and Klicker retired the next 20 Panthers in order in pitching a one-hit shutout.

Klicker struck out 12 to move the Blue Devils to the title match.

"She (Klicker) was dominant," Wa-Hi coach Jerry Humphreys said. "She had a great game."

Wa-Hi pounded out nine hits and scored singletons in the first, second, and sixth innings, and added two in the fourth.

"It was a real team effort," 2011 Blue Mountain Sports Awards Coach of the Year Humphreys said. "The Wenatchee pitcher (Bri Craddock) did a nice job of keeping us off balance. (But) when we got a runner on, the kids made sure we scored."

Libbie Jimenez led the Blue Devils with four hits and two RBI. Alyson Ambler and Ashley Bezdicek each chipped in two hits to lead the nine-hit Wa-Hi attack.

Wa-Hi ended the regular season with a 19-1 season record, and that one loss was inflicted by the Bombers, who Wa-Hi faced for the regional title.

"The kids have been anxious to play since our league loss (to Richland)," Humphreys said of the re-match. "We turned (after the opening win) our sites on them and hoped to get some pay back."

Klicker set the tone early for Wa-Hi as the senior belted a two-run home run in the top of the first to give Ambler, who worked in the circle for Wa-Hi, all the run support she would need.

Wa-Hi would chip away with two in the third, two more in the sixth, and the Blue Devils salted this one away with a four-run seventh to win 10-1. Wa-Hi rapped out 11 hits against three Bomber pitchers.

TraeAnn Payne, Andrea Hamada, and Hill led the way with two hits each.

Ambler shut the Bombers down on four hits while striking out six in pitching the Blue Devils to the 10-1 win.

"Hope (Klicker) set the tone (with her first-inning home run),' Humphreys said. "Al (Ambler) shut down the top of their order. They (Richland) are a good team and they put the bat on the ball. We played a lot of defense and they (the defense) came through."

Wa-Hi takes a 21-1 record into Saturday's Regional at a site to be determined. Wa-Hi will play at 2 p.m. against the winner of a noon elimination game.

If the Blue Devils win, they play for the regional title at 4 p.m. If Wa-Hi loses, they play a loser-out game at 4 p.m. for the final berth to the 4A state tournament.

Wa-Hi 5, Wenatchee 1

Wenatchee 000 000 0 - 0 1 2

Wa-Hi 110 201 x - 5 9 0

Craddock and Holzerland; Klicker and Hill.

HR - none.

Hits - Wen: Douglas; WW: Jimenez 4, Ambler 2, Hill, Bezdicek 2.

Wa-Hi 10, Richland 1

Wa-Hi 202 002 4 - 10 11 1

Richland 000 100 0 - 1 4 1

Ambler and Hill; Walchli, Goulet (3), Andrews (7) and Burch, Oleson (7).

HR - Wa-Hi: Klicker.

Hits - Wa-Hi: Jimenez, Hamada 2, Ambler, Klicker, Payne 2, Hill 2, Hartford, Bezdicek; Richland: Green 2, Hernandez, Hebky.

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