History didn’t repeat itself when the Connell and Walla Walla softball teams met Tuesday at Walla Walla’s Murr Field.
Connell, which lost by nine runs last season to 2011 Class 4A state champion Wa-Hi, shut down the Blue Devils 5-0 this time.
Ashley Thompson struck out 14 for the reigning two-time Class 1A state champ Eagles (7-0). She was coming off Saturday’s sterling performance, when she struck out 18 in a perfect game against Hanford and recorded another 18 strikeouts in a win over defending Class 3A state champion Kamiakin.
“She threw a great game against us,” Walla Walla coach Kate Keyes said via telephone. “She’s an excellent pitcher. She had a lot of stuff, and she’s quick. It took us some time to adjust. If it were a doubleheader, we might have been able to put a few more hits together.”
Thompson gave up six walks to Wa-Hi (1-1) but allowed three hits. Kendsey Hill, Jacie McDaniels and Carly Clark made contact against the right-hander.
“There were a couple scenarios that they got a couple baserunners,” Connell coach Andy Sawyer said. “It helps us. We don’t get that too much — someone putting the pressure on us and the fear of them scoring. We don’t get that, so it was nice, but I think every time they had two or three runners on, she just struck them out.”
Connell outscored Mid-Columbia Conference teams 50-4 during a five-game stretch against Kennewick, Hanford, Kamiakin and Wa-Hi.
“I know that the girls really didn’t have any second thoughts about taking on any of these teams, so it’s been exciting,” Sawyer said. “I don’t even know if we’ve got our hitting going yet.”
McKenna Mathis, who had two RBIs against the Blue Devils, appears to be doing just fine at the plate. She did her part to back Thompson on Saturday, hitting a three-run homer in the Kamiakin contest.
“McKenna seems to really be hitting in the clutch right now and hitting the ball really hard,” Sawyer said. “She works hard. She hits a lot at home. It looked pretty good.”
Grayson Corrales, Thompson and Hope Sawyer also had two hits apiece off Wa-Hi’s Elli Rassbach and Kate Ferenz.
Rassbach was tagged for nine hits and four runs — two earned — before Ferenz entered in the sixth.
Having played just two games this year, the Blue Devils start the MCC season Friday against Chiawana.
“We’re still adjusting, trying to figure out exactly who’s going to be where defensively,” Keyes said. “A couple more games would have been nice, but I think we’ll do all right.”
Connell 000 130 1 — 5 11 0
Walla Walla 000 000 0 — 0 3 2
Ashley Thompson and Alex Shuster; Elli Rassbach, Kate Ferenz (6) and Kendsey Hill. Highlights—Hope Sawyer (C) 2x4; Thompson (C) 7IP-14K-3H, 2x3, 2R; Grayson Corrales (C) 2x3, R; McKenna Mathis (C) 2x2, R, 2 RBIs.
Hanford 21, Sunnyside 0: Emma Garcia homered and drove in three runs, and MaKenna Hall and Kayla De La Paz each had four hits as the Falcons rolled to a nonleague road win in advance of their Mid-Columbia opener Friday at Southridge.
Kadi Patterson threw a two-hit shutout for Hanford.
Hanford 70(11) 03 — 21 26 1
Sunnyside 000 00 — 0 2 1
Kadi Patterson and Whitney Nash; Cornwall, Gil (4) and Ramone. Highlights—Emma Garcia (H) 3x6, HR, 3 RBI; Nash (H) 3x5, 3B; MaKenna Hall (H) 4x4 2 SB; Molly Bishop (H) 3x4, 2B; Kayla De La Paz (H) 4x5, 2 2B, 2 RBI.
Dayton 3, River View 1: Sam Harting allowed one run on one hit over seven innings and drove in a run to help the Bulldogs top the visiting Panthers in a nonleague matchup. Jessica Tate went 2-for-3 with an RBI for Dayton.
River View 010 000 0 — 1 1 1
Dayton 100 020 x — 3 7 2
Lozier and Salter; Samantha Harting and McKayla Bickelhaupt. Highlights—Jessica Tate (D) 2x3, 2B, RBI; Harting (D) RBI. JV score: Dayton 15, RV 13.
Liberty Christian 19, Klickitat 3: Sarah Croskrey went 4-for-5 and scored three runs, while Isabella Loera and Kiersten Peterson each had a triple and three runs to lift the Patriots to a Southeast 1B win in Richland.
Liberty Christian batted around twice — sending 20 batters to the plate — during a 15-run third-inning outburst.
Klickitat 100 02 — 3 8 1
Liberty Christian 40(15) 0x — 19 13 1
Curtis and Clark; Kiersten Peterson and Sarah Croskrey. Highlights—Quinton (K) 2x3, 2R; Parsons (K) 2x3, 2B, R; Oldfield (K) 2x2; Croskrey (LC) 4x5, 2B, 3R; Isabella Loera (LC) 2x3, 3B, 3R; Peterson 3B, 3R; Reilly Walker (LC) 2x4, 2B, R.
Touchet 13, Waitsburg-Prescott 3: Morgan Cardwell broke it open for the host Indians with a three-run double in the second inning and closed it down with an RBI in the fifth to invoke the 10-run rule.
Waitsburg-Prescott 120 00 — 3 4 5
Touchet 380 11 — 13 17 2
One out when 10-run rule invoked
Nichols, Brown (5) and Brannock; Bishop, Schaeffer (5) and Aceves, Bishop. Highlights—Morgan Cardwell (T) 2x4, 3-R 2B, 4 RBI; Sierra McKeown (T) 3x4.