Wa-Hi wins region's top softball seed for state

The Blue Devils defeat Wenatchee and Richland for the placing on Saturday.

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RICHLAND - Wa-Hi topped Wenatchee and Richland in Saturday's regional action to secure the No. 1 seed to the state softball championships next week in Spokane.

The Blue Devils topped Wenatchee, 11-1, in five innings, and Richland, 7-4, to grab the seeding.

"It was a great day," said Wa-Hi coach Jerry Humphreys.

Wenatchee charged to an early 1-0 lead, thanks to three Blue Devils errors in the first inning.

"That's uncharacteristic for us," Humphreys said.

But after the third out, Wa-Hi opened its at-bats with a Libbie Jimenez home run, Andrea Hamada double and Alyson Ambler single.

"We scored four runs in the first to get things turned around, and the game went our way from there," Humphreys said.

Richland came out ready to face the Blue Devils in game two. Richland handed Wa-Hi its only loss of the season in league play.

"They were really swigning well," Humphreys said of the Bombers. "They had a couple of runs in the first and second and it took us a while to get going."

The Blue Devils fell behind, 4-0, before Jimenez hit her third home run on the day in the third inning.

Hope Klicker led off the fourth with a triple, then scored on a sacrifice fly off Kendsey Hill to close the gap to 4-2.

And freshman and JV player Eleanor Rassbach came up next to pinch hit.

Rassbach, in her first varsity at-bat, hit a long home run.

"That turned the tide for us," Humphreys said of Rassbach's hit. "That set the tone. All of the girls got into the game and were excited. It was a whole different feeling after that."

Now down 4-3, it was scoreless until the top of the seventh, when the Blue Devils opened at the top of their order.

Jimenez singled, then got to second of a Hamada sacrifice. Ambler singled, putting runners at first and third, then Richland intentionally walked Klicker to load the bases.

Hill singled to score Jimenez, and Ambler came in off a Richland overthrow. Rassbach came back to bat, singling Klicker in from second, and another Richland overthrow brought Hill home.

"We started that down 4-3, and ended it up 7-4," Humphreys said.

Richland had three up, three down in the bottom of the seventh in the loss.

"The kids did a great job," Humphreys said. "Even though they were behind, they kept fighting and scratching and came out on top. It's a great show of charector for them."

Earlier wins by Wenatchee and Richland mean the Big 9 will represent the East Side at state tournament next week in Spokane. Brackets will be released today.

Wa-Hi 11, Wenatchee 1

Wen 100 00 - 1 2 5

Wa-Hi 433 01 - 11 11 3

Marker, Holzerland (3) and Weigel. Klicker and Hill.

HR - Wa-Hi: Jimenez 2, Hartford.

Hits - Wen: Douglas, Tamngin. Wa-Hi: Jimenez 3, Hamada, Ambler 2, Klicker, Hartford 2, Bezdicek 2.

Wa-Hi 7, Richland 4

Wa-Hi 001 200 4 - 7 11 2

Rich 220 000 0 - 4 8 2

Ambler and Hill. Goulet and Oleson, Burch (5).

HR - Wa-Hi: Jimenez, Rassbach. Rich: Burch.

Hits - Wa-Hi: Jimenez 2, Hamada 2, Ambler, Klicker 2, Hill, Rassbach 2, Bezdicek. Rich: Walthers 2, Cejka, Burch, Hernandez 2, Chambers, Walchli.

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