WALLA WALLA — Coach Mike Staudenmaier’s Walla Walla Community College softball team is learning how to score runs.
And that’s good, because the pitching-strapped Warriors are having a terrible time keeping the other team off the scoreboard.
The Warriors suffered their ninth and 10th consecutive defeats Sunday as Everett pounded out 27-18 and 13-7 non-league victories. Over the 10-game skid, which includes Saturday’s 18-5 and 17-12 defeats at the hands of Southwest Oregon, Walla Walla has allowed an average of 16 runs per game.
“There’s a light at the end of the tunnel,” Staudenmaier said as he prepares to lead his team into the NWAACC Eastern Region campaign this coming weekend with home doubleheaders against Treasure Valley and Blue Mountain. Friday’s twin bill is slated for 4 p.m. and Saturday’s set begins at noon.
Staudenmaier is hopeful that he will have his top two pitchers, sophomore Kelsey Locke and freshman Haley Freske, in the circle for the league openers. They have been academically ineligible for the team’s first 12 games.
“We’re taking finals today through Wednesday,” Staudenmaier said this morning. “And then we’re getting ready for our first league games, and we expect to have Kelsey and Haley ready to go.”
Kaitlin Erm, a freshman out of Mac-Hi, has attempted to shoulder the pitching load so far along with sophomores Kaydee Tarin and Kate Hawk plus freshman Sam Robillard. Tarin and Robillard normally play the outfield and Hawk is a third baseman, and it’s been a tough go in the pitching circle.
“We’re giving up an awful lot of hits,” Staudenmaier understated. Everett pounded out 30 hits in Sunday’s first game and the Trojans collected another 18 in the second.
Samie Miller led the way in the opener with six hits, including a solo home run in the first inning, and drove in seven runs. Mindy James rocked a three-run homer in the sixth.
Miller homered again in the second game, a three-run shot in the sixth inning.
Brandy Knowles and Paige Pontarolo had four hits each for Walla Walla in the opener. Knowles drove in four runs and scored twice, Pontarolo had three RBIs and three runs scored.
Pontarolo had two more hits in the second game. Tarin contributed two singles and a double and one RBI.
“The good thing is we are learning to hit,” Staudenmaier said. “We feel good about how many runs we are scoring. We’re just going through a process.”
Everett 4(10)3 215 2 — 27 30 2
Walla Walla 481 113 0 — 18 22 4
Miller and Norsby; Erm, Tarin (1), Hawk (3), Erm (6) and Simpson.
HR — Everett, James, Miller.
Hits — Everett: Thomas 4, Ward 5, James 3, Miller 6, Norsby 4, Gylling 2, Botten 5, Hoffman; WWCC: Simpson 2, Knowles 4, Hawk 2, Hudelson 3, Pontarolllo 4, Hamilton 2, Gonzalez 3, Tarin, Robillard.
Everett 033 006 1 — 13 18 1
Walla Walla 101 022 1 — 7 14 2
Hoffman and Norsby; Erm, Tarin (6) and Simpson.
HR — Everett, Miller.
Hits — Everett: Thomas 3, Ward, James 2, Miller 2, Norsby, Gylling 4, Monesmith 2, Hoffman 2, Parker; WWCC: Hudelson 2, Knowles, Gonzalez 3, Hawk, Pontarolo 2, Hamilton, Tarin 3, Robillard.