WALLA WALLA - Mother Nature did what Moses Lake could not do here Tuesday in Columbia Basin Big Nine softball twin bill action.
The Chiefs could not stop the Blue Devils as Wa-Hi pounded out 11 hits and Alyson Ambler tossed a one-hit, mercy-rule six inning shutout as the Blue Devils took the opener, 10-0.
The Chiefs led briefly in the nightcap following a Jazminn Jesse solo home run, but Wa-Hi bounced back to take a 4-1 lead before the rains stopped Wa-Hi's attack.
The rain suspended the second game in the bottom of the fourth. Five innings are required for a contest to be an official game, hence the Chiefs and Blue Devils will resume from where they left off at a date to be determined.
The Blue Devils broke a scoreless tie in the home second of the opener. Ellie Rassbach reached on a Chiefs' error to start the second, and TraeAnn Payne singled. A ground out and a wild pitch got Rassbach home and Ambler had all she needed.
Ambler took a perfect game into the fourth with one out before hitting Haylee VanLathem.
Kendsey Hill, Ambler's catcher, gunned down courtesy runner Haylee Orozco on an attempted steal, and Ambler retired the Chiefs in order in the fifth.
Through five, Ambler faced the minimum.
Brianna Hoffman's one-out, sixth-inning looper to right dropped for a single, but Ambler got the next two Chiefs to finish off her one-hitter.
"She (Ambler) did a great job," Blue Devil coach Jerry Humphreys said. "They (Moses Lake) are a scrappy team and they put the bat on the ball a lot. There weren't a lot of strikeouts (Ambler struck out six), but she did get a lot of balls that our defense could make plays on."
After taking a 1-0 lead after two, the Blue Devils kept adding on. Rassbach's two-run single keyed a three-run Blue Devil third. RBI singles from Libbie Jimenez and Ambler knocked in two more in the Wa-Hi fourth.
Two walks, two Chief errors, and an RBI single from Hill produced three runs in the sixth and set the stage for Jordana Storm. The freshman ended this one with her third hit of the game, a single to left, that produced Wa-Hi's 10th run.
"We chipped away here and there, and they struggled defensively a couple of times," Humphreys said. "The thing I liked about our guys, was when those opportunities came, they took advantage of them. That's what you have to do to consistently win."
The Chiefs' Jesse took Ambler's first pitch of the second inning of the nightcap over the left-field fence and Moses Lake grabbed a 1-0 lead. The home run marked the first earned run that Ambler has given up in the circle in the regular season.
Wa-Hi answered again with some help from the Chiefs in the home second as the Blue Devils scored twice without a hit, but took advantage of two Moses Lake misplays.
Payne reached on an error, Mattie Smyth put down a sacrifice bunt, Storm was hit by a pitch, and the Chiefs threw the ball around as two runs scored on Jimenez's fielder's choice grounder.
"I had in my mind that weather was coming, and we didn't want to be behind," Humphreys said. "We were playing for one or two runs in that inning. We ran a couple of plays and the kids executed. It was nice to get a lead."
Ambler and Hill singled to start the Wa-Hi third. A Chief error led to a run and Hill scored on a wild pitch for a 4-1 Blue Devil lead.
Storm walked to start the home fourth. Two wild pitches later, the rain stopped the Blue Devils.
Wa-Hi (9-0 overall, 5-0 in CBBN play and ranked No. 1 in the state 4A rankings) host No. 5 ranked Richland Friday at 4 p.m. in a battle for control of the CBBN 4A.
"We knew this week would be the week for us to see how good we really are," Humphreys said. "We're happy to play pretty well today and hope it carries over to Friday."
Moses Lake 000 000 - 0 1 3
Wa-Hi 013 204 - 10 11 0
VanLathem and Radach; Ambler and Hill.
HR - none.
Hits - ML: Hoffman; Wa-Hi: Payne 2, Ambler 2, Rassbach, Storm 3, Jimenez, Hill 2.
Second Game (Suspended by rain)
Moses Lake 010 0 - 0 1 3
Wa-Hi 022 - 4 3 0
VanLathem and Radach; Ambler and Hill.
HR - ML: Jesse.
Hits - ML: Jesse; Wa-Hi: Hill 2, Ambler.