The Richland softball team is used to going “all-in” during games, a practice that results in some big payoffs but sometimes leaves them a little short when it comes time for the next hand.
That was the case Saturday at the 4A state tournament at Merkel Complex in Spokane, when the Bombers were taken down twice — a 6-0 loss to Arlington and a 4-2 loss to Tahoma — to put an end to their season.
Two emotional victories from the night before, and 9 a.m. semifinal game to begin the day left Richland a little shaky to begin with. But when Arlington pitcher Ronnie Ladines entered the circle, she certainly didn’t make things easier on the Bombers. The Kent State-bound senior struck out 17 and scattered six Richland hits in a shutout win.
“She was overpowering. She threw close to mid-60s with a good rise ball and a great change,” Bombers coach Casey Emery said. “Just when we were starting to get on the fastball, she would throw in that great change. We only got one chance in the game to score.”
Richland fared better in the second game, the winner of which would play for third place, but the Bombers defense committed three errors as Tahoma earned the win.
Kayla Andrews gave Richland a big start in the first inning, blasting a two-run home run to give the Bombers a 2-0 lead. Richland had already beaten Tahoma in the first round, but the Bears were coming off a win in the consolation bracket while the Bombers were coming off an emotional loss to Arlington.
That didn’t make for a very good formula.
“Yesterday, we expended so much energy in those two wins. We jumped on (Tahoma) early, but after that we only had four or five hits total,” Emery said. “We just couldn’t get the bats going.”
Andrews and Reilly Bramlett each had a pair of hits against Arlington, and April Utecht went 2-for-3 with a double against Tahoma. “They don’t see it and they don’t feel it right now, but they had a great season,” Emery said.
Arlington went on to win the state title, beating Camas 2-1.
Arlington 230 010 0 — 6 10 1
Richland 000 000 0 — 0 6 3
Ronnie Ladines and Amundson; Kayla Andrews, Paige Goulet (3) and April Utecht. Highlights—Katelynn McDonald (A) 2x3, 2B, 2R; Ladines (A) 17 Ks, 2x4, HR, R, RBI; Katelynn Kazen (A) 2x3, 2 RBI; Fields (A) 2x3, 2B, R; Myers (A) 2x3, R; Andrews (R) 2x3; Reilly Bramlett (R) 2x3, SB; Kelsea Hinkley (R) SB; Alicia Maul (R) SB.
Tahoma 003 100 0 — 4 8 0
Richland 200 000 0 — 2 5 3
Scott and West; Goulet and Utecht. Highlights—Corbin (T) 2x4, R; Engellantt (T) 2x4, 2B, R, RBI; Nelson (T) 2B; Elliott (T) 2B; Utecht (R) 2x3, 2B; Andrews (R) HR, R, 2 RBI.