Irish softball takes no. 2 seed to state

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RICHLAND — DeSales did not capture the Regional softball championship here in Regional 2B softball action, but the Irish collected a more important prize as they punched their ticket to their fifth consecutive state tournament.

DeSales defeated Mary Walker, 8-2, and Garfield-Palouse/Tekoa-Oakesdale, 3-2, before running into Northwest Christian’s Hannah Husted. Husted stymied the Irish on just three hits as the Crusaders won, 11-1, and claimed the Regional title and No. 1 seed to the 2B state tournament. The Irish finish second and earn the No. 2 seed.

“We didn’t get what we wanted (the Regional title), but we got the second seed to state,” DeSales coach Russ Vera said. “We can’t be disappointed. Everyone has bad days, and we got ours out of the way (today). Taking the second seed to state is awesome.”

In the day’s opener, Claire Conley keyed a five-run Irish second, after Mary Walker had evened the score at 2-2 in the top of the second, with a three-run double. Ashlyn Lyons with relief help from Kaylee Brown did the rest in the circle for the Irish as DeSales advanced to meet G-P/T-O for the fourth time this season in the regional semifinal.

“We didn’t hit the ball as well as we have been,” Vera said of the 8-2 win. “We scattered our hits, but got them when we needed them.”

G-P/T-O scored twice in the first to take a 2-0 lead, but the Irish answered in the home first. A Brown RBI single keyed a three-run Irish first, and DeSales had the 3-2 lead after one. That was the offense in game two, as Lyons, in the circle for DeSales, pitched shut out ball the rest of the way. Brown’s two hits led the Irish offense.

“We were flat,” Vera said. “We didn’t hit, but we played good ‘D’ and kept them at bay after the first.”

The championship belonged to Husted in the circle for Northwest Christian. Husted surrendered just three hits — singles by Teresa Acock, Conley, and Cara Hall — and struck out 11 as NWC took the championship.

“Husted is one of the top three pitchers at the 2B level in the state,” Vera commented. “She moved the ball well and has pretty good speed. We faced pitchers that threw in the 40s (mph) in the first two games, then Husted throws 58 to 60. We just couldn’t hit her.”

DeSales travels to Yakima Friday to open the 2B state tournament. The Irish will learn their opponent in a draw at WIAA today.

Northwest Christian 11, DeSales 1

DeSales 100 000 — 1 3 3

NWC 304 112 — 11 11 0

Lyons and Thomas; Husted and Turner.

HR — NWC: Gray.

Hits — DeS: Acock, Conley, Hall; NWC: Taylor 2, Miller, Husted 2, Baugham, Gray, Tibbetts, Jazmer, Turner 2.

DeSales 8, Mary Walker 2

MW 020 000 0 — 2 4 3

DeS 251 000 X — 8 6 2

Hegel and Lavulavu; Lyons, Brown (6) and Thomas.

HR — none.

Hits — MW: Hubert, Smith, Lavulavu, Sanchez; DeS: Lyons, Brown, Conley 2, B. James, Downing.

DeSales 3, GPTO 2

GPTO 200 000 0 — 2 2 2

DeS 300 000 X — 3 7 1

Psaff and Johnson; Brown, Lyons (2) and Thomas.

HR — none.

Hits — GPTO: McClanahan, Rodriquez; DeS: Acock, Thomas, Brown 2, Conley, B. James, Hamada.

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