|4/10/2013 10:28:00 AM|
Cascade softball team wins two games against Mount Baker, Blaine
The two non-league games last week for the unbeaten Cascade Kodiak softball team had all the feel of state playoff games, mainly because these teams are likely to meet in the state playoffs. These games were tight, one run ball games where the slightest mistake by either team could decide the outcome.
|Photo by Ian Dunn
Cascade senior hurler Taliyah Riddick-Waters fires a pitch toward home plate in action last Saturday against Blaine. Lead by the fine pitching of Riddick-Waters, the Kodiaks won 1-0.|
Cascade began the with an intense 9-8 win over Mount Baker on April 1 at Richard Rice Memorial Field in Dryden. Mount Baker put the pressure on from the start with five runs off four errors and three hits in the first inning. The Kodiaks have not had to come back from this kind of deficit in their previous games, but they wasted no time chipping away at the lead. Senior Kendra Key hit a three run homer in the bottom of the first to cut the lead to 5-3.
In the third inning, Mount Baker scored three more times on another four Cascade errors to make it 8-3. Cascade came back in the bottom of the third with two runs on a 2 RBI double by Laura Hester which scored Kaycee O'Brien and Sierra Guthrie.
Trailing 8-5 in the bottom of the fourth, the Kodiaks scored two more runs as Guthrie singled to drive in O'Brien and Maddy Harris. Cascade found themselves trailing 8-7 heading into the bottom of the seventh.
Hester doubled with one out, then stole third base. Taliyah Riddick-Waters walked and stole second to put the tying and winning runs in scoring position. Hester scored the tying run on an error by the right fielder. Senior Marissa Thompson singled up the middle to drive in the winning run.
"We found a way to win. Laura Hester was unbelievable over at third base. She laid out several times and came up to throw runners out. She is as good a third baseman as you're going to find and fun to watch," said Ken Krous, Cascade head coach. "However, overall, defensively we just didn't play very well. We committed 11 errors on the day."
Freshman Madeline Krous pitched four innings, giving up 8 runs (3 earned), 4 hits with no walks and no strikeouts. Riddick-Waters pitched three innings, giving up no runs, no hits with 3 strikeouts and 1 walk.
"Madeline Krous started the game and pitched well. We just didn't support her. Nine errors were committed with her in the circle," he said. "I would like to say we settled down, but we committed two more errors after Taliyah came into the game."
Hester went 3-for-4 with 2 doubles, 2 runs, stolen base and 2 RBIs. Guthrie batted 3-for-4 with 2 RBIs, 1 run and a stolen base. Key was 1-for-4 with a home run, 1 run and 3 RBIs. O'Brien was 2-for-4 with 2 runs.
"We out-hit them 13-4 and that was ultimately the difference. On a positive note, I was happy to see the girls respond to adversity and handle the pressure when it counted," he said. "We continued to chip away at their lead and never said die. In the end, we showed our mental toughness."
Cascade's match up with Blaine last Saturday in Dryden had all the feels of a high pressure state playoff game as the Kodiaks prevailed by the narrowest of margins, 1-0. In very much a pitcher's duel, Riddick-Waters out-dueled her counterpart, pitching 7 innings, giving up just 2 hits, 1 walk and 12 strikeouts.
The only came in the first inning as O'Brien walked, stole second and scored on a Riddick-Waters RBI single. Unlike the Mount Baker game, the girls played rock solid defense in support of Riddick-Waters and she needed it. After the first inning, no Borderite got beyond first base.
"We swung the bats, but just didn't hit the ball squarely very often. We only struck out three times," he said. "We were aggressive but just missed a couple of times. With the wind blowing in, any time a ball was lifted into the air, it turned into a routine fly ball."
Bolick for Blaine was equally impressive in the circle, pitching 7 innings, giving 1 run, 2 hits, 1 walk with 3 strikeouts. Riddick-Waters was 1-for-2 with an RBI. Guthrie was 1-for-3.
"Close games are good mental testers for the girls, but I felt like they were in control the whole time," he said.
With the wins, Cascade improved to 7-0 on the season. Cascade played at Quincy (1-4, 4-7) yesterday, but results were unavailable before press time. On Saturday, Cascade hosts second place Brewster (3-0, 6-2) for a double header. Next Tuesday, Cascade is at Chelan (2-1, 4-2).
Ian Dunn can be reached at 548-5286 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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