PASCO -- In its final regular-season home doubleheader of the year, the Columbia Basin College softball team faced two of the NWAACC's top pitchers Saturday.
Try as they might, the Hawks couldn't get Wenatchee Valley's Amy Greenough and Sydnee Jerome to come unglued.
In the opener, Greenough allowed seven hits but got the 'W' in an 8-7, 10-inning victory. Jerome followed with a two-hitter to lead the Knights to a 4-1 win and a sweep of their East Region rivals.
"We needed it," Jerome said. "We got swept by (East Region leader) Walla Walla (on Friday), so it's a huge confidence boost for us."
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With Saturday's losses to second-place Wenatchee Valley (28-8, 14-4), CBC (19-15, 10-8) slipped into fourth in the East Region behind Spokane. The top four teams in the East advance to the playoffs, leaving the Hawks in a precarious position with five remaining regular-season doubleheaders -- all on the road -- including the May 14 finale against Walla Walla.
"Our kids can fight with anybody, and everybody knows it," CBC assistant Alex Cuello said. "But what they need to learn is, they need to fight the entire game."
In Game 1, CBC's Debbie Molsbarger tied the score with a two-run home run in the sixth inning. After three scoreless frames, the game went to a tiebreaker in the 10th, when the player who was the last out of the previous inning is put on second as a runner to help expedite scoring.
Kelsie DeBroeck was at second for Wenatchee Valley and advanced on a fielder's choice. Cassi Ellis then had a base hit to right, scoring DeBroeck. After Molsbarger struck out Ashley Van Horne, the CBC left-hander allowed back-to-back singles to Moe Stuart and Baylee Jolliffe to load the bases. The Hawks escaped without further damage when third baseman Amanda Hall caught a pop-up by Brooke Rydman.
But CBC couldn't capitalize in the bottom half of the inning. With Hall in scoring position, the Hawks went down 1-2-3 to end the game.
"We had a good comeback," said Molsbarger, who struck out 11. "We just couldn't figure out a way to get the win."
Greenough, who has an NWAACC-leading 16 victories this season for Wenatchee Valley, shrugged off a third inning in which the No. 3 through 7 hitters scored to put CBC up 5-4.
"That was just an off inning," she said. "We just knew our team was going to come back from that. We never don't come back from situations like that."
In Game 2, Jerome's defense helped her retire 14 consecutive batters until Amanda Hall homered with two outs in the seventh. Jerome then walked Taylor Bakos on four consecutive balls and gave up a single to Chani Brisby, firing up the mostly pro-CBC crowd.
The excitement was quickly quelled, however, when Breezy Lounsbury grounded to Jerome, who threw to first for the final out.
"We think she's hittable," said Bakos, who pitched the second game for CBC. "Our offense wasn't there, and we just weren't aggressive."
Now, the Hawks' fate likely will depend on them fixing those breakdowns.
"We're gonna have to get back on the practice field and work hard," Cuello said. "We better figure it out before the season's over if we want to advance to the postseason."
Wenatchee Valley 400 201 000 1 -- 8 13 3
Columbia Basin 005 002 000 0 -- 7 7 1
1 out when winning run scored.
Amy Greenough and Cassi Ellis; Debbie Molsbarger and Chani Brisby. Highlights--Ashley Van Horne (WV) 2B; Molsbarger (CBC) 11K, 2-run HR.
Wenatchee Valley 101 000 2 -- 4 11 1
Columbia Basin 000 000 1 -- 1 2 0
Sydnee Jerome and Ellis; Taylor Bakos and Brisby. Highlights--Moe Stuart (WV) 2B, RBI; Chynna Sandhop (WV) 2x4, HR; Kelsie DeBroeck (WV) 3x4, 2 RBIs; Amanda Hall (CBC) HR.
* Katie Dorsey: 509-582-1526; email@example.com