WALLA WALLA — It was a story of too little, too late for Walla Walla High School here in Mid Columbia Conference softball action on Friday.
The Blue Devils fought back from a 7-4 deficit in the opener to get the winning run on base in the seventh, but Kamiakin held on for an 8-7 win.
In the night cap, the Braves grabbed a 5-0 lead, but Kate Ferenz belted a two-run sixth inning home run for Wa-Hi, and the Blue Devils had the tying run at the plate in the seventh, before Kamiakin once again held on for a 5-2 win and a sweep of the double dip.
“We’re leaving a lot of runners on base,” Blue Devil coach Kate Keyes said. “We’re just not able to come through when (in the) clutch.”
The Braves took advantage of a Wa-Hi error and three walks to take a 1-0 lead in the top of the first in the opener.
Jordy Storm’s double brought in the tying run and Jacie McDaniels followed with a two-run shot over the left center field fence and Wa-Hi led 3-1 after one.
Ellie Rassbach, in the circle for Wa-Hi, retired the first two Braves she faced in the second, but the Braves strung seven consecutive singles together to score five times and grab a 6-1 lead.
“They are a great hitting team,” Keyes said. “We let them control the pace of the game and move runners around without us holding them to the bases we would liked to have seen them at.”
Kamiakin, on an Emily Benson RBI single, added a run in the visitor third, but the Blue Devils struck back in the home half. Lauren Likes led off with a double and Storm knocked her in, then Storm came around to score on a Brave overthrow, Brandi Schoessler — who ran for Rassbach after the overthrow — came around to score on and outfield error and Wa-Hi closed the gap to 7-6 after three.
Carlie Richards’ knocked in the eventual winning run for the Braves in the sixth. Wa-Hi’s last shot came when Likes reached on an error to start the home seventh. With two outs, Rassbach singled and Kate Ferenz drove in Likes with a two-out single. Cassie Ramsey, in the circle for the Braves, got the last out as Wa-Hi left the tying and winning runs on base.
“That first game, I would say our defense was to blame,” Keyes commented. “We made errors (four). We knew they would be tough. We talked all week how our defense would really have to step up.”
The Braves, led by Hunter Schneitter’s four hits, pounded out 15 hits in the 8-7 opener. Storm and Ferenz led the Blue Devils with two hits each.
Game two was a pitcher’s battle between Kamiakin freshman Emiley Moore and Wa-Hi sophomore Schoessler. Schoessler left one pitch up and Cylie Richards hit it over the right field fence for a 1-0 Brave lead after four.
Kamiakin bunched six singles over the fifth and sixth frame to stretch the lead to 5-0 with Wa-Hi batting in the home sixth.
Rassbach drew a walk to lead off the Blue Devil sixth, and Ferenz followed with a two-run shot to right center and Wa-Hi was on the board trailing 5-2.
Maddy Aichele ripped her third hit of the game to lead off the Wa-Hi seventh. Two outs later, McDaniels reached on an error to bring the tying run to the plate. On this afternoon, Moore was up to the task and got the last out with a fly to right to preserve the 5-2 Brave win.
“We adjusted and our defense tightened up in the second game,” Keyes said of the Blue Devils’ one error. “We made some great plays and it was fun to watch them play defense.
“We just couldn’t score enough runs in the second game,” Keyes continued. “We score seven in the first game, and get eight hits in the second game, but only push two across.”
Wa-Hi (6-2 overall, 2-2 in the MCC) travels to Richland for a 4 p.m. battle with the Bombers Tuesday.
“They fight to the very end and they want to win,” Keyes said of her Blue Devils. “The league is tough. We’re just going to keep preparing and getting a little better every day.”
Kamiakin 151 010 0 — 8 15 3
Wa-Hi 303 000 1 — 7 8 4
Austin, Ramsey (1) and Becker; Rassbach and McDaniels.
HR — WW: McDaniels.
Hits — KaHS: Schneitter 4, Oord 2, Benson 3, Ca. Richards 2, Castilleja, Cy. Richards Becker Lowry; WW: Storm 2, McDaniels, Ferenz 2, Likes, Enriquez, Rassbach.
Kamiakin 010 022 0 — 5 8 1
Wa-Hi 000 002 0 — 2 8 1
Moore and Becker; Schoessler and McDaniels.
HR — KaHS: Cy. Richards; WW: Ferenz.
Hits — KaHS: Cy. Richards 2, Oord 2, Schneitter, Wyant, Lowry, Castilleja; WW: Aichele 3, Storm, Leighty, McDaniels, Likes, Ferenz.