RICHLAND — Brandi Schoessler threw a four-hitter and Ellie Rassbach belted a two-run home run to help lead Walla Walla High School to a 5-1 victory over Hanford in the first game of a Mid-Columbia Conference softball doubleheader at chilly and windy Hanford High School on Friday.
Rassbach scattered nine hits in the nightcap and Jordy Storm ripped a tiebreaking, two-run homer during a five-run, fifth-inning rally as the Blue Devils completed the sweep with a 6-2 triumph.
Wa-Hi ended MCC play at 8-4 with Friday’s wins and will take a 12-5 overall record into district playoff action this coming week.
“I’m incredibly proud of the way the girls played,” Wa-Hi coach Kate Keyes said. “We played tough on defense and with runners on. We took care of the little things.
“These were fun games to coach,” Keyes added. “The kids enjoyed themselves.”
Rassbach’s long fly in game one — a bolt to left field — came with two out in the top half of inning one.
The Blue Devils doubled their lead to four, 4-0, with a pair of runs in the fourth. Storm led off with a triple and scooted home on a Rassbach sacrifice fly to center. The inning’s second run crossed on a Hanford error.
After relinquishing a run in the home fourth, Wa-Hi got it back in the sixth inning. Storm slugged a leadoff double, Rassbach and Jacie McDaniels then followed with back-to-back base knocks — the latter of which scored Storm.
Hanford’s Kadi Patterson had the Blue Devils shut out through four-and-two-thirds innings of game two and was nursing a 1-0 edge before Wa-Hi’s slumbering offense arose.
Madelyne Aichele began a string of six consecutive Blue Devil hits with a double and scored the tying run on a Lauren Likes bleeder to right.
Storm was up next and put Wa-Hi up for good with her two-run blast — a lofted drive to right.
“We have a lot of kids capable of hitting the long ball,” Keyes said.
Kate Ferenz brought in the fourth run of the frame with an infield single and the final run came across on a Falcons’ gaffe.
“That’s one of the things I love about these girls — they never give up,” Keyes said.
The Blue Devils used two Hanford snafus to add a run in the seventh.
Schoessler struck out six batters in her complete game performance and Rassbach fanned seven.
“Both of our pitchers did an excellent job,” Keyes said. “It was good to see.”
Wa-Hi 200 201 0 — 5 7 1
Hanford 000 100 0 — 1 4 2
Schoessler and McDaniels. De LaPaz and Nash.
HR — Wa-Hi: Rassbach.
Hits — Wa-Hi: Rassbach 2, Storm 2, McDaniels, Ferenz, Leighty; Hanford: Botich, Foraker, Garcia, De LaPaz.
Wa-Hi 000 050 1 — 6 9 1
Hanford 100 000 1 — 2 9 4
Rassbach and McDaniels. Patteson and Nash.
HR — Wa-Hi: Storm.
Hits — Wa-Hi: Storm 2, Ferenz, Leighty, Aichele, Likes, Rassbach, McDaniels, Fortney; Hanford: Alaniz 3, Nash 2, Richardson, Garcia, De LaPaz, Hall.