Warriors still battling for playoff spot

Yakima's Josee' Saldua slips behind WWCC catcher Brook Simpson for the 5th inning run to make the score 7-2 during first game action Saturday at the Walla Walla softball field.

Yakima's Josee' Saldua slips behind WWCC catcher Brook Simpson for the 5th inning run to make the score 7-2 during first game action Saturday at the Walla Walla softball field. Photo by Jeff Horner.

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WALLA WALLA — Karly Hudelson clubbed three hits including a pair of solo home runs Saturday afternoon to lead Walla Walla Community College to an 11-3 rout of Yakima Valley in the second game of an NWAACC Eastern Region softball doubleheader at Warrior Field.

YVC won the opener, 9-7.

On Friday, the Warriors opened their weekend homestand by dropping both ends of a twin bill to the NWAACC’s top-ranked team, league-leading Wenatchee Valley, by scores of 12-1 and 12-9.

WWCC, currently fifth in the East standings, is now 10-12 in league and 16-23 overall.

“We’re still battling to get into the top four in the league standings and make the NWAACC Tournament,” WWCC coach Mike Staudenmaier said. “We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us.”

Walla Walla spotted Yakima a 4-0 lead in game one before cutting the deficit in half in the last of the third inning on a two-RBI single to right field by Kendyl Hamilton, who stroked three of the Warriors’ 10 hits in the game.

Yakima Valley scored three times in the top of the fifth before Kelsey Locke and Misa Gonzalez clobbered back-to-back home runs in the bottom half of the inning to bring WWCC within three, 7-4.

YVC gave itself breathing room in the seventh with a pair of tallies.

Walla Walla made it interesting in the home seventh. Hamilton lofted a sacrifice fly to left and Brook Simpson smacked a two-out, two-run double to left-center to make it a two-run game.

But Haley Freske lined out softly to shortstop for the final out of the game.

“Game one was a disappointment,” Staudenmaier said. “We had some chances early, but were not able to cash in.”

The Warriors benefited from Yakima generosity in the first inning of game two. They scored four runs on just one hit ­— a lead-off single by Hudelson — and took advantage of three YVC errors.

WWCC unloaded on Yakima starting pitcher April Shipley for five runs and six hits in the second inning. Hudelson led off with a rocket over the center-field fence.

Later in the frame, Gonzalez ripped an RBI single to left-center, Paige Pontarolo rattled the left-field fence with a run-scoring double, and Kate Hawk and Hamilton followed with RBI singles.

Each team scored twice in the third inning. Hudelson led off the Walla Walla third with a long fly to left off Yakima Valley reliever Kayla Reynolds and Hawk produced the Warriors’ final run of the contest with a center-field single.

“We had 10 hits in each game, but we seemed to have better swings in game two — especially in the first two innings,” Staudenmaier said. “Karly had three aggressive swings for us that produced positive results.”

In Friday’s first game, WWCC was one-hit by Wenatchee ace Hailey Bator. Riliey Cullip had three hits in each game for the Knights and a home run in both contests.

Gonzalez and Brandy Knowles both homered for Walla Walla in game two on Friday.

“Wenatchee showed why they are the top-ranked team in the NWAACC and leading our league,” Staudenmaier said. “They’re a class program.”

WWCC hits the road next weekend for Eastern Region doubleheaders at Big Bend Friday and Spokane Saturday.

First Game

YVC 202 030 2 — 9 13 1

WWCC 002 020 3 — 7 10 2

Reynolds and Barnes; Locke, Freske (5) and Simpson.

HR — WWCC: Locke, Gonzalez.

Hits — YVC: Boelter 3, Harper 2, Daldua 2, Ross 2, Barnes, Weishaar, Biehl, Turner; WWCC: Hamilton 3, Knowles 2, Hudelson, Locke, Gonzalez, Hawk, Simpson.

Second Game

YVC 012 00 — 3 7 4

WWCC 452 0X — 11 10 1

Shipley, Reynolds (2) and Barnes; Freske and Morton.

HR — YVC: Saldua; WWCC: Hudelson 2.

Hits — YVC: Ihly 2, Barnes 2, Boelter, Saldua, Biehl; WWCC Hudelson 3, Hawk 2, Knowles, Gonzalez, Pontarolo, Hamilton, Lawson.

Friday’s First Game

WVC 005 52 — 12 10 0

WWCC 000 01 — 1 1 4

Bator and Cullip; Locke and Morton.

HR — WVC: Cullip.

Hits — WVC: Cullip 3, Thomas 2, Rambo, Goodman, Dorcas, Beagle, Wall; WWCC: Robillard.

Friday’s First Game

WVC 500 212 2 — 12 11 1

WWCC 006 010 2 — 9 9 2

Thomas, Rambo (4), Bator (5) and Cullip; Freske and Morton.

HR — WVC: Cullip, Beagle, Bator; WWCC: Gonzalez, Knowles.

Hits — WVC: Cullip 3, Bator 2, Thomas 2, Dorcas, Wall, Beagle, Goodman; WWCC: Knowles 3, Locke 2, Hamilton, Robillard, Gonzalez, Hudelson.

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