TOUCHET — Makayla Bishop was stellar in the circle, and she and her teammates were solid at the plate and perfect in the field here Wednesday on a day when Touchet coach Gary Dorman was forced to move his players around the diamond like so many pieces on a chessboard.
“Everybody stepped up,” Dorman said after his Indians dispatched Rosalia 9-0 in a game to determine seeding into the next round of the Southeast 1B District softball playoffs.
Rosalia had defeated Pomeroy 7-5 earlier in the day in a loser-out game.
The Indians and Spartans will be back on this same field May 24 where they will be joined by Colton and Liberty Christian to conclude district play. The Wildcats defeated Liberty Christian 13-3 Wednesday in Colton after the Patriots ousted Lacrosse-Washtucna 19-0 in a loser-out affair.
So it will be Rosalia vs. Liberty Christian in a loser-out contest, Touchet vs. Colton to decide the district’s No. 1 seed to the Class 1B state tournament and the Touchet-Colton loser vs. the Rosalia-Liberty Christian winner to determine the No. 2 seed.
The Indians hiked their season record to 13-6 with Wednesday’s victory that was particularly sweet in light of Dorman’s personnel maneuvers. Two of the Indians’ regulars, catcher Jennifer Aceves and second baseman Morgan Cardwell, were unavailable.
“Jennifer has gone to Mexico to visit her grandfather, who is ill,” Dorman explained. “And Morgan was held out for academics. We will have Jennifer back in time for the state tournament if we are fortunate enough to make it, and Morgan’s was just a one-game slipup and we will have her back next Saturday.”
Nevertheless, their absence Wednesday led to some tricky personnel issues.
First, Dorman moved Melissa Creek from center field to behind the plate in place of Aceves, which necessitated shifting Maddie Fenton from right field to center in place of Creek. And freshman Paytyn Richartz came off the bench to play right field.
Second, the Indians coach switched Harlie Schaeffer from third base to second in place of Cardwell, which necessitated moving left fielder Cassie Warren to third base in place of Schaeffer. And junior Lupita Rodriguez came off the bench to play left field.
“We had a lot of kids playing different positions, but it all worked out,” Dorman said. “It was good we had this game rather than someone like Colton, a game where the kids could adjust with a little less on the line.”
Bishop did her part by firing a four-hit shutout, striking out two, walking one and working out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth inning. Rosalia’s Shannon Carrothers and Stacie Carrothers connected for back-to-back singles and Cass Bruce drew a walk, but Bishop got the third out on a weak grounder to first base.
Meanwhile, the Indians were in the process of collecting 10 hits and nine runs, highlighted by a five-run outburst in the fifth inning. A pair of two-run singles by Creek and Richartz capped the big rally.
Touchet snared a two-run lead in the first inning. Cierra Joe McKeown walked, stole second and third and scored the first run on Schaeffer’s sacrifice fly. Consecutive singles by Bishop, Fenton and Shelby Gould produced the second run.
The Indians made it 3-0 in the third as Creek singled, stole second and scored by Schaeffer’s base hit. And they made it 4-0 in the fourth when Warren drew a walk and came home on McKeown’s triple.
And best of all as far as Dorman was concerned, the Indians were perfect in the field.
“That,” the coach said, “was a real good sign.”
In the earlier game, Rosalia jumped on Pomeroy with a four-run first inning and never trailed. The Pirates didn’t get on the scoreboard until the final two innings, plating two runs in the sixth and two in the seventh.
Touchet 9, Rosalia 0
Rosalia 000 000 0 — 0 4 1
Touchet 201 150 x — 9 10 0
Reddish and Frost; Bishop and Creek.
Hits — Rosalia: Terrel, Sh. Carrothers, St. Carrothers 2; Touchet: McKeown 2, Creek 2, Schaeffer, Bishop, Fenton 2, Gould, Richartz.
Rosalia 7, Pomeroy 4
Pomeroy 000 002 2 — 4 3 4
Rosalia 410 002 x — 7 10 2
McClain, Thomas (2) and Woodland; Reddish and Frost.