By DUSTY HOLDEN
of the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin
YAKIMA - The Irish leader on the field and in the circle, sophomore Ashlyn Lyons, helped carry the load in two great - but still losing efforts - here Saturday at the Gateway Sports Complex.
"All in all, the girls did well," DeSales coach Russ Vera said. "It was a great learning experience for a lot of the younger girls. Our future is still bright."
DeSales battled to a 2-2 tie in the fourth inning against Pe Ell but fell 6-3 in seven innings.
The Irish showed fight and grit in taking a 3-2 lead in the top of the third inning in the loser-out consolation bracket against Napavine but eventually fell in a heartbreaker, 7-6.
"We had a very young team this year and we did a good job of showing some pride when we got behind," Vera said. "We came back to make it very interesting."
Against Pe Ell Lyons was a big-time hitter, with two doubles, and helped keep the game close in the circle with a complete-game effort.
Also contributing against the Trojans was Claire Conley with a triple and run scored.
Eighth-grader Teresa Acock bunted for a single and came around to score for DeSales.
Pe Ell pitcher Amanda Woods outdueled Lyons in the circle, notching 13 strikeouts to Lyons' 7.
The normally stalwart Irish defense allowed three errors and three unearned runs.
"We made a lot of mental mistakes," Vera said. "Errors are going to kill you. We worked on it all year in practice and games but we just couldn't quite execute all day long.
"We did a good job getting ahead and fighting back in both games but it is hard to accept when we made mental mistakes."
The Irish fought back down, 7-3, at the beginning of the top of the fifth with a run and two in the top of the sixth to cut the lead to one.
A triple by Lyons led off the Irish fifth, and she scored on an RBI single by Bobbi Prior.
In the top of the sixth, Brianna James singled and Britney Postlewait followed with a one-base hit. Cassidy Meliah walked to load the bases with zero outs.
Acock knocked in a run with sacrifice fly. A second out was recorded on Napavine strikeout and Lyons was intentionally walked.
Lyons stole second and the Irish had runners on second and third base with two down.
Napavine's pitcher, Alexa Peters, struck out another Irish batter to squelch the rally.
Prior led off the Irish seventh with a single but the Irish batters flew out and hit into a double play to end the game.
"It is a learning experience," Vera said. "We wish we could have done better. But if we get the same girls to come back next year, we can build upon our state experience this year."
Pe Ell 6, DeSales 3
DeSales 000 111 0 - 3 4 3
Pe Ell 100 122 x - 6 7 1
Ash. Lyons and Postlewait. Woods and Sheperd.
HR - none.
Hits - DeS: Ash. Lyons 2, Conley, Acock. Pe Ell: Arrington, Capps, Hoke 3, Skeen, Ratkie.
Napavine 7, DeSales 6
DeSales 003 012 0 - 6 10 1
Napavine 111 400 x - 7 10 1
Ash. Lyons and Postlewait. Peters and May.
HR - Napa: White.
Hits - DeS: Ash. Lyons 2, Lesko, Acock, Al. Lyons, Prior 2, Hull, Postlewait, Meliah. Napa: Pannette, Sahlinger, Peters 2, Olson, Adkins, Smith 2, White , Albright.