TOUCHET — It’s not over until it’s over.
Touchet High School was within two outs of imposing the 10-run rule here Thursday in non-league softball action.
But Weston-McEwen battled back from a 10-0 deficit and left the tying run at third as the Indians held on for an 11-10 win.
“Everything went our way the first couple of innings,” Touchet coach Gary Dorman said. “I knew it wasn’t going to end up in the 10-run rule, that (W-M) is just too good of a ball club.”
The Indians got a two-run double from Kristen Warner and a run-scoring single from Melissa Creek to highlight a four-run first.
Behind a RBI single from McKayla Bishop, a two-run single from Megan Kromm, and an RBI double from Creek, Touchet scored five times in the second to lead 9-0 after two.
“That (9-0) is the biggest hole we’ve dug this year,” TigerScot coach Jeff Griggs said. “We had that coming as we really didn’t show up in any aspect of the game until the third inning.”
Warner drove in the 10th Indian run with a third-inning single and Touchet went to the top of the fifth with a 10-0 lead.
The Indians lost the strike zone and the TigerScots worked four walks on the inning, and took advantage of an Indian error, before Keegan Shepard belted a two-run double into the left-field corner and W-M trailed 10-5 in the middle of the fifth.
“Momentum is a weird thing,” Dorman said. “You have it one second and the next second, you don’t. It’s hard to get back.”
Cierra McKeown led off the Indian fifth with her fourth infield slap hit of the game. McKeown took advantage of an errant pitch and a TigerScot error to scoot home with what proved to be the winning run as Touchet led 11-5 after five.
Jessica Lambert restored the TigerScots’ momentum with a home run to open the W-M sixth. Taryn Coffman delivered a run-scoring triple and W-M scored five times to narrow the margin to 11-10.
“We’ve had a number of games where we’ve gotten down and come back,” Griggs said. “We finally started to settle in and some people woke up there in the fifth. We were selective about some of the pitches we had been chasing, and some good things started happening and we fed off of that. Touchet is a great team, so to come back and make it close at the end, is a great credit to the girls. But that is not a real success strategy.”
Natalie Arnold started the TigerScot seventh with a single, Coffman rolled her third hit of the game up the middle, and Arnold tried to go to third, but Indian shortstop McKeown gunned her down for the first out, with Coffman going to second on the play. A groundout got Coffman to third with the tying run, but Bishop, who came to the Indian circle in relief in the sixth, enticed a comebacker to preserve the Indians’ 11-10 win.
“It was a good lesson learned on our part,” Dorman said. “You never give up on a good team when you’re playing them. That’s a quality team from Weston and those kids are never going to quit.”
Lambert, a freshman, went all the way in the TigerScot circle to earn praise from her coach.
“She didn’t start off like she can,” Griggs said. “This is the best team that’s she thrown against. It was a tough introduction for her. It took her awhile to settle in, but (then) she started hitting some spots and forcing ground balls.”
Touchet (9-1 overall, 4-0 in league play) and Weston-McEwen, (9-2, 1-0) both return to league action Saturday. The Indians host Pomeroy and the TigerScots travel to Heppner to battle the defending league and state champion Mustangs.
TOUCHET 11, WESTON-MCEWEN 10
W-M 000 055 0 — 10 9 2
Touchet 451 010 x — 11 12 3
Lambert and Coffman, Dillow (3); Schaeffer, McKeown (6), Bishop (6) and Bishop, Aceves (6).
HR — W-M: Lambert.
Hits — W-M: Coffman 3, Entze, Shepard 3. Lambert, Arnold; Tou: McKeown 4, Schaeffer, Warner 2, M. Creek 2, Bishop, C. Creek, Kromm.