WALLA WALLA - Walla Walla Community College suffered its first defeat of the 2012 softball season Saturday afternoon in the first game of an NWAACC doubleheader at Warrior Field.
The Warriors allowed an unearned run in the first inning and managed just three hits off of Mt. Hood starting pitcher Rhianna Russell during a 1-0 setback to the three-time defending NWAACC champions.
WWCC scored single runs in each of the last four innings of the nightcap to post a 4-3 victory.
"These were two great games between two good teams," WWCC coach Mike Staudenmaier said. "It was good college softball for this early in the season."
Walla Walla's early-season record moved to 5-1 after the split.
Mercedes Pearson, Kate Hawk, and Jill McDaniels were the lone Warriors who managed hits off of Russell in the opener.
"We hit the ball, but hit it right at them," Staudenmaier said.
WWCC's Dara Kosanke tossed a three-hitter of her own in game one. She struck out seven and walked one.
Walla Walla stranded runners at third in both the first and third innings, and left runners at first and second in the fifth.
The Warriors trailed 3-0 in the fourth inning of the second game before Sami Verity put the home team on the board with a two-out, RBI double into the left-center field gap.
WWCC got another run closer in the fifth when Pearson legged out a run-scoring infield single.
The Warriors tied the score in the sixth on an infield out by Hawk.
In the WWCC seventh, Alicia Baker led off with a ground single to right, then stole second. Kosanke sent Baker to third with an infield single and scooted to second on an error.
After Pearson walked to load the bases, Brandy Knowles dropped an 0-2 pitch into shallow center to bring Baker home.
"She's a good hitter," Staudenmaier said of Knowles. "Whether it's a liner in the gap, or a seeing-eye dog, we'll take it no matter what."
Walla Walla pitcher Katie Martell scattered eight hits over seven innings to notch the win in game two.
The Warriors host Clackamas for a doubleheader today at noon.
MHCC 100 000 0 - 1 3 0
WWCC 000 000 0 - 0 3 2
Russell and McCarthy. Kosanke and J. Verity.
HR - none.
Hits - MHCC: Van Cleave, Jett, Russell; WWCC: Pearson, Hawk, McDaniels.
MHCC 110 100 0 - 3 8 3
WWCC 000 111 1 - 4 7 2
Abendschein, Devincenzi (6) and McCarthy. Martell and Morton.
HR - Mt. Hood: Abendschein.
Hits - MHCC: Abendschein 2, Ciu 2, Jett, McCarthy, Dawson, McLaughlin; WWCC: Kosanke 2, S. Verity, Locke, Pearson, Baker, Knowles.