PASCO -- A hometown player helped finish her hometown team's season.
In a one-game playoff to determine the East Region's No. 4 seed in the NWAACC softball tournament, former Kamiakin High School player Stephanie Chrystal pitched all seven innings Tuesday to lead Spokane to a 2-1 victory over Columbia Basin College in Pasco.
"I can't really describe the words," Chrystal said when asked how she felt about helping her team clinch an NWAACC berth in the Tri-Cities. Spokane and CBC finished the regular season tied in the East Region at 14-14, forcing the playoff.
Chrystal spent most of her time this season in center field and was the backup pitcher, but she ended up becoming the starter in the circle after the Sasquatch's No. 1 pitcher, Dani Johnson, broke her leg about 2 1/2 weeks ago.
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"I was kind of in panic mode, but you gotta do what you gotta do," Chrystal said.
Moriah Beeler hit a two-run, two-out double in the third to give the Sasquatch a 2-0 lead -- all the offense they would need against the Hawks, who split the regular-season series with Spokane 2-2.
"They're a good-hitting team. Our defense made some good plays," said CBC's Taylor Bakos, who pitched six innings. "Our bats didn't come today; that's what hurt us the most."
The Hawks had a glimmer of hope in the bottom of the fourth, stringing together three consecutive singles before Chani Brisby popped up to center and Chrystal struck out Breezy Lounsbury. KieOsha Avery-Winchester singled in a run and reloaded the bases, but Andrea Roeder struck out to end the inning.
"Having the bases loaded with no one out and only scoring one run, that definitely changed the game," CBC coach Adrian Ochoa said.
And now the Hawks (23-22 overall) are left to ponder their season while Spokane (20-23) gears up for Friday's NWAACC first-round matchup against two-time defending champion Mt. Hood in Portland.
"Our season was just up and down the whole time," Bakos said. "I think we expected to end up with a lot more wins than we finished. And we expected to go to NWAACCs."
Ochoa, finishing his first season as CBC's head coach, must say goodbye to a sophomore core that has provided leadership and support for the younger Hawks.
"I'm excited for next year, but it's gonna be tough because we have a lot of freshmen," he said. "It's gonna be a challenge.
"It'll be hard losing the sophomores. They're gonna be tough to replace."
Spokane 002 000 0 -- 2 8 0
CBC 000 100 0 -- 1 7 1
Stephanie Chrystal and Janelle Spear; Taylor Bakos, Debbie Molsbarger (7) and Chani Brisby. Highlights--Breanna Lookabill (S) 2x3; Moriah Beeler (S) 2-run 2B; Regin Gallagher (S) 2x2; KieOsha Avery-Winchester (CBC) RBI.