SPOKANE — The Kamiakin softball team has been steamrolling through so many opponents lately it was difficult to gauge exactly how good the Braves were.
So when Shadle Park pitcher Casey Perisha threw them a curveball or two Saturday at the 3A Eastern Regional tournament, it was nice to know they could make the adjustment.
“We were having a hard time hitting that curve. She came in in the third and shut us out, then did it again in the fourth,” said Braves coach Tammy Hutchison. “I thought, it’s time for the short game.”
Using a variety of power slaps and bunts, Kamiakin scored four runs off Perisha in the bottom of the fifth to secure an 8-2 win over Shadle Park in the regional championship.
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Kamiakin pitcher Lindsey Kamphuis, who was out sick for much of the week and didn’t practice until Thursday, struck out seven batters and added an RBI double to help her own cause.
“For her to do as well as she did was phenomenal,” Hutchison said.
The Braves coach said the adjustment to the short game showed a versatility that the team will need at the 3A state tournament, which begins Friday at the RAC facility in Lacey.
“That makes us a complete team,” Hutchison said. “We’ve been working on the short game on defense, too. It was very beneficial to play the Spokane teams, because they have a short game.”
Kamiakin started the day off with an 11-0 six-inning shutout of University. Kamphuis struck out eight and had two RBIs, but it was Emily Benson who ended it with a two-run home run with one out in the bottom of the sixth.
University 6, Hanford 4: The Falcons fell behind 4-0 in the fourth but nearly battled all the way back in an opening-round loss to the Titans.
Kadi Patterson hit a two-run triple for Hanford with two outs in the top of the seventh to bring the Falcons within two runs.
“It was a good game. We made some errors in the fourth, and that’s what hurt us,” Hanford coach Lesley Guereca said. “We’re just really proud of our season. We’ll miss our seniors greatly, but I’m excited about the girls we have coming back.”
Southridge falls one game short: Jordan Ziemba went 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs, and Hannah Sams went 5-for-5 with two RBIs during an opening-round 15-5 win over West Valley-Yakima.
The Suns, however, struggled to find much offense in their next two games, losing 11-0 to Shadle Park and then 10-0 to University in a game that decided the No. 3 seed to state. Southridge was looking for its first state berth since 2008.
“It was a good season,” said Suns coach Eric Weisgerber. “About what we expected.”
Hanford 000 020 2 — 4 3 3University 010 302 x — 6 11 5
Kayla De La Paz and Whitney Nash; Hecker and Birch. Highlights—Kadi Patterson (H) 2-run triple.
West Valley 500 000 — 5 6 3Southridge 541 104 — 15 17 2
2 outs when 10-run rule called into play. Kivi, Ringer (1), Kivi (4) and Roberts; Sarah Gilliam, Janelle Randles (1) and Makensie Meyer. Highlights—Sou: Hannah Sams 5x5, 2 RBI; Allyx Copeland 2x4, 2 RBI; Jordan Ziemba 3x4, HR, 4 RBI; Randles 3x3, 2 RBI; Chelsey Klepper 2x2, 2 RBI.
Southridge 000 00 — 0 1 6Shadle Park 233 3x — 11 9 1
Gilliam, Copeland (4) and Meyer, Klepper (3); Perisho and Rueff. Highlights—Sou: Copeland 2B.
Southridge 000 000 — 0 3 4University 100 801 — 10 9 0
Randles and Meyer; Hecker and Birch. Highlights—Sou: Randles 2x2.University 000 000 — 0 1 2Kamiakin 213 014 — 11 14 0
One out when 10-run rule invoked. Brittany Hecher, Kay McCoy (4) and Jaime Bertsch; Lindsey Kamphuis and Jessica Miracle. Highlights—Kamphuis (K) 8Ks, 0 BB, 3x4, 2 RBI; Melanie Oord (K) 3x3, 2B; Emily Benson (K) 2x4, HR, 3 RBI; Carly Richards (K) HR.
Shadle Park 001 001 0 — 2 7 4Kamiakin 030 041 x — 8 7 3
Brittany Gattley, Casey Perisha (3) and Rueff, Collins; Kamphuis and Miracle. Highlights—Kamphuis (K) 7Ks, 0 BBs, 2x4, 2B, RBI; Oord (K) 4x4, RBI; Kylie Richards (K) 2x3, RBI; Sam Booth (K) 2x3, RBI; Miracle (K) 2x4, 2B; Hunter Schnietter (K) 2x4.