TOUCHET — Somebody forgot to tell Touchet and Colton that the District 9 softball playoff battle here Thursday was a meaningless seeding game.
“These guys are the four-time defending champions,” Touchet coach Gary Dorman said. “It’s a challenge, and that makes it fun.”
The Indians broke a 3-3 tie with a run in the home seventh to escape with a 4-3 win.
The win sends Touchet to the Medical Lake District 7/9 playoff Saturday. The Indians face Cusick at noon in a loser-out game. A win earns the Indians a trip to state and a chance to duplicate their 2008 title.
Touchet’s Kristen Warner launched a towering solo home run with two outs in the Touchet fifth to put the Indians up 3-1. Carrie Hennigar’s two-out, run-scoring single highlighted a two-run Wildcat sixth, as Colton got even at 3-3 after six.
Colton’s Jenna Moser collected her fourth hit of the game with one out in the Wildcat seventh. Moser attempted to steal second but Indian catcher Courtney Creek gunned her down and Colton failed to score.
“We couldn’t get her (Moser) out all day and of course she gets on base,” Dorman said. “We wind up throwing her out on the attempted steal. You could see the burden of unsureness leave our shoulders. I thought, ‘Maybe we’ve got this now.’”
With one out in the home seventh, Cierra McKeown, a lefty swinging slap hitter, slapped a single to center.
“We were kind of nervous,” McKeown said of the seventh. “I was trying to hit the gap, but I didn’t hit it very well. I started slapping this year and that’s what I always do.”
“It’s Cierra’s first year hitting left handed, and she’s been working on hitting out of that slap rather than just dumping it out front,” Dorman said. “Once she gets that mastered, she’ll be even better.”
With McKeown on first, Melissa Creek faked a bunt, and McKeown stole second.
On the next pitch, Creek got the bunt down. The Wildcats made a bad throw to first, and McKeown scooted all the way home with the game-winner.
“When it (the bunt) is on the ground, I try to see where they’ll throw it,” McKeown said. “They were throwing to first, so I went to third. I saw they fumbled it, and I ran home.”
Colton’s Moser, following her second hit, scored on an Indian error to put the Wildcats on top 1-0 in the third. The bottom of the Indians order produced a single from seven hitter Morgan Cardwell, and an RBI single from ninth hitter Lexi Sturm to get the Indians even. McKeown beat out a slap infield hit to get Sturm home for a 2-1 Indian lead after three.
“We’re pretty solid up and down the lineup,” Dorman said. “Lexi has been hitting the ball real well.”
In the Indian circle, Makayla Bishop gave up one earned run on eight hits to earn the win.
“Makayla pitched seven on Tuesday (a 5-0 win over Liberty Christian), went seven today, and will pitch seven more on Saturday,” Dorman said. “We did a real good job. We can still be a little better, and hopefully, we get there before the (state) tournament.”
TOUCHET 4, COLTON 3
Colton 001 002 0 — 3 8 4
Touchet 002 010 1 — 4 7 4
Z. Moser, Scholtheis (4) and Hennigar; Bishop and C. Creek.
HR — Tou: Warner.
Hits — Col: J. Moser 4, Druffel, Z. Moser, Kramer, Hennigar; Tou: Bishop, Cardwell, Sturm, McKeown 2, Kromm, Warner.