Wa-Hi shows off its softball prowess

The defending Class 4A state champs hand Kennewick two mercy-rule-shortened defeats.

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Wa-Hi third baseman Andrea Hamada (foreground) throws her arms up celebrating a diving catch by fielder Mattie Smyth for the final out of the top of the third inning, with the Blue Devils holding a 5-0 lead over visiting Kennewick on a rain-sprinkled Wednesday afternoon.

WALLA WALLA - Defending Class 4A state softball champion Wa-Hi forced cries of mercy from visiting Kennewick not once, but twice, Wednesday afternoon at Murr Sports Park.

The Blue Devils ran their early-season record to 4-0 with 18-0 and 10-0 triumphs against the Lions.

Both games were called in the fifth inning due to the 10-run mercy rule.

Wa-Hi tallied its first five runs of the day in the second inning of the opener. Mattie Smyth commenced the scoring with an RBI double to center field and, after the second run crossed the plate on an error, Alyson Ambler blasted a two-out, three-run home run to center.

Kendsey Hill led off the third with a homer to left and ended the rally with a three-run dinger to left that put Wa-Hi in front 13-0.

Janelle Hartford brought in the second run of the third with a groundout, Libbie Jimenez grounded an RBI single to left, Andrea Hamada drilled a run-scoring triple into the right-center gap, and Ambler added a single for a run prior to Hill's second long fly.

Wa-Hi picked up five runs in the fourth. Sydney Schultz blooped a single to center for run No. 1, Jordan Heiser blasted a three-RBI triple to center, and Ambler chased home the final run with an infield grounder.

Ambler, who pitched the first three innings in both games, and Heiser shared circle duty and combined on a three-hitter.

"We need to come out with more intensity," Wa-Hi coach Jerry Humphreys said. "The kids responded in the second inning. Al did a great job. Jordan did a nice job coming in."

The Blue Devils put up five runs in the first inning of game two. Ambler got Wa-Hi on the board with a double down the left-field line, runs two and three scored on errors, and Hartford and Jordana Storm delivered RBI singles.

Storm doubled to left in the third inning to give the Blue Devils a 6-0 cushion.

Ellie Rassbach stroked an RBI single and Mariah Gerling ripped a two-run double to increase the Wa-Hi lead to 9-0 after four innings.

Hamada lofted a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning to end scoring.

"We came out and did a nice job getting going," Humphreys said. "It was nice to get off to a fast start. Their pitcher (Bryanna DeRoos) brought her change-up, so we had to make some adjustments."

Wa-Hi hosts Eisenhower in its league-opening doubleheader Tuesday at 2 p.m.

First game

Kennewick 000 00 - 0 3 1

Wa-Hi 058 5x - 18 19 0

DeRoos and Wade. Ambler, Heiser (4) and Hill.

HR - Wa-Hi: Hill 2, Ambler.

Hits - Kenn: Shiflet, Gonzalez, Gilmore; Wa-Hi: Jimenez 3, Ambler 3, Smythe 3, Rassbach 2, Hill 2, Hamada 2, Hartford, Schultz, Heiser, Payne.

Second game

Kennewick 000 00 - 0 3 1

Wa-Hi 501 31 - 10 10 1

DeRoos and Wade. Ambler, Rassbach (4) and Hill.

HR - none.

Hits - Kenn: Gonzalez; Wa-Hi: Hill 2, Hartford 2, Storm 2, Ambler, Gerling, Jimenez, Rassbach.

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