PASCO -- After its doubleheader against Richland was cut short earlier this season, Walla Walla wanted to prove its five-inning victory was no fluke.
Alyson Ambler struck out eight and hit a two-run home run, and the Blue Devils beat Richland 9-2 in the CBBN 4A district title game Saturday at TRAC in Pasco.
Wa-Hi (21-1) will take the CBBN’s No. 1 seed into next weekend’s CBBN/Greater Spokane League 4A regional tournament at Central Valley High School in Spokane.
Richland (19-4) locked up the No. 2 regional seed with a 12-2, five-inning win over Chiawana (11-13) later in the day. The Riverhawks, who entered the district tournament as the No. 6 seed, secured their first regional appearance after beating Wenatchee 4-2 in an elimination game.
The Blue Devils wanted to face the Bombers for the district championship for the third year in a row, especially after splitting their April 20 doubleheader. Richland took the first game 13-5, but the Blue Devils prevailed in a nightcap that was called because of darkness.
“The kids were rolling in Game 2 when it got shortened, and they were ready to come back and show that the 5-0 win wasn’t a mistake, that they are the real deal and they can play,” Wa-Hi coach Jerry Humphreys said.
The title game was set after Richland earned its first win of the day over Chiawana -- also 12-2 in five innings -- and Walla Walla routed Wenatchee 9-0.
But the Blue Devils weren’t interested in a close contest.
With Libbie Jimenez on third and one out in the first, Ambler took the first pitch she saw from junior left-hander Paige Goulet and lifted it over the center-field fence for a 2-0 lead.
That was the first of three Wa-Hi home runs in the game. Kendsey Hill hit her own two-run homer off Goulet to highlight a five-run fourth inning. In the fifth, TraeAnn Payne, who came up to bat with cheers of “T-Payne” from the Walla Walla fans, had a solo shot off Richland sophomore right-hander Kayla Andrews.
“When I hit that (home run), it proved that, ‘Yeah, we’re gonna handle this game,’ but it’s just, ‘How bad are we gonna beat them?’ ” Ambler said. “Everyone went up to the plate with the mentality of ‘How hard can I hit this?’ instead of ‘Can I hit this?’ ”
Goulet, who has two career wins against Walla Walla, was replaced by Andrews after allowing an RBI double to Jacie McDaniels and an RBI triple to Jordie Storm with two outs in the fourth.
“I felt like I could have kept going,” Goulet said. “But they have seen me a lot. They have seen my pitching a lot, so I think it was a good decision (to come out of the game) because they were starting to get a lot of hits off me.”
Wa-Hi was clicking on defense, too. Third baseman Andrea Hamada and first baseman Elli Rassbach made spectacular diving catches to bookend the game, and shortstop Jimenez cut the Bombers off in the air and on the ground.
“When we put the ball in play, the shortstop killed us,” Richland coach Casey Emery said. “Libbie had a great game. She probably took away two or three base hits.”
Ambler was chased by Richland in her only loss of the season, but Saturday, she went the distance and gave up four hits, including Dora Hernandez’s two-out, two-run homer to right in the sixth.
“My catcher (Hill) and I had the mentality of ‘We’re gonna go after them,’ ” Ambler said. “There’s no need to be scared or intimidated by them. We know them inside and out. We’ve been playing them for years, and we know their weaknesses, and we go after them.”
Hernandez, a team captain, hit her first varsity home run off Ambler, but she was frustrated by the Bombers’ lack of production against the Walla Walla right-hander.
“We went with Ambler’s riseball, and the previous game, we made her pitch down where we could hit it,” Hernandez said. “This time, we just went with her balls. She was dominating.”
Chiawana 200 00 -- 2 4 0
Richland 710 4x -- 12 13 1
Kim Poma, Jackie Martin (2) and Maddie Heine; Paige Goulet, Kayla Andrews (4) and April Utecht. Highlights—Whitney Weber (C) 1x3, R; Melanie Cantu (C) 2B, R, RBI; Jackie Martin (C) 1x2, RBI; Bailey Walthers (R) 2x3, RBI; Cydney Elgin (R) 2x3, 2R; Dora Hernandez (R) 2x2, 3R, 2B, RBI; Utecht (R) 1x2, 2 RBIs; Andrews (R) 3-run HR, 5 RBIs; Goulet (R) 3IP-3K-1BB, 2x3, 2B, 3 RBIs.
Wenatchee 000 000 0 -- 0 0 0
Walla Walla 202 320 x -- 9 13 1
Bri Craddock, Kinda Marker (4) and Robin Weigel; Alyson Ambler, Jordan Heiser (5) and Kendsey Hill. Highlights—Libbie Jimenez (WW) 2B; Andrea Hamada (WW) 3x4, 3 2Bs; Hill (WW) 2x4; Elli Rassbach (WW) HR; Janelle Hartford (WW) 2x3; Jordie Storm (WW) 2x3.
Richland 000 002 0 -- 2 4 1
Walla Walla 200 520 x -- 9 8 0
Paige Goulet, Kayla Andrews (4) and April Utecht, Audrey Oleson (5); Alyson Ambler and Kendsey Hill. Highlights—Bailey Walthers (R) 2B; Dora Hernandez (R) 2-run HR; Libbie Jimenez (WW) 2x4, R, RBI; Ambler (WW) 2-run HR, 3R, 7IP-8K-1BB; Hill (WW) 2-run HR; Elli Rassbach (WW) 2B, R; TraeAnn Payne (WW) HR; Jacie McDaniels (WW) 2B, RBI; Jordie Storm (WW) 3B, RBI.
Chiawana 004 000 0 -- 4 7 1
Wenatchee 200 000 0 -- 2 8 0
Katie Axelson and Maddie Heine; Bri Craddock and Emile Holzerland. Highlights—Whitney Weber (C) 2x4, R; Kendra Boehning (C) 2x3, RBI, R; Danielle Sanaski (C) 2-run 1B; Baylee Fontaine (W) 2x4; Rachael Tamngin (W) 2x4, RBI.
Chiawana 001 01 -- 2 5 4
Richland 10(10) 1x -- 12 12 1
Kim Poma, Jackie Martin (3) and Danielle Sanaski; Kayla Andrews, Paige Goulet (5) and Audrey Oleson. Highlights—Whitney Weber (C) 2x3; Cydney Elgin (R) 4x4, 2R; Dora Hernandez (R) 2R; April Utecht (R) 2x3, 2B, 3B, 4 RBIs.
The Kamiakin softball team went 2-0 on Saturday to take the CBBN 3A district title in Pasco.
With a 7-0 win over Hanford in the championship semifinal and a 8-0 victory against Southridge in the final, the Braves head into next weekend’s CBBN/Greater Spokane League 3A regional tournament with a 22-0 record. But they aren’t focusing on maintaining their perfect record.
“We don’t even talk about that,” coach Tammy Hutchison said. “We just keep one game at a time. We look toward our goal of doing what we need to do to get to state.”
Lindsey Kamphuis will play a pivotal role in achieving that goal.
The Kamiakin senior recorded 23 strikeouts Saturday, including 13 in the final. She went 3-for-4 and drove in two runs against Hanford, then had two hits and two RBIs in the win over Southridge.
Melanie Oord totaled five hits on the day for Kamiakin. Hunter Schneitter had three hits in Game 2, while Jessica Edminster and Emily Benson each had two hits in the opener.
“We’re on the right track to get ready to go to regionals, to keep the momentum going,” Hutchison said.
After defeating West Valley 8-3 in Saturday’s opener, Southridge (13-9) will take the No. 2 seed into regionals at Spokane’s University High School.
In the consolation championship, Hanford collected 20 hits in a 12-1 win over West Valley (11-12) for the No. 3 seed. Remy Bradley, Kayla De La Paz and MaKenna Hall each had four hits for the Falcons (12-11).
West Valley 021 000 0 — 3 7 4Southridge 130 031 x — 8 10 5
Hannah Kivi and Gabby Bryant; Sarah Gilliam and Makensie Meyer. Highlights—Hannah Souers (WV) 2x4; Sarah Mannin (WV) 2x4; Hannah Sams (S) 2x4, RBI; Allyx Copeland (S) 2-run 3B; Chelsey Klepper (S) 2x3; Vanessa Castrejon (S) 2x4, RBI.
Hanford 000 000 0 — 0 0 2
Kamiakin 002 014 x — 7 11 0
Kadi Patterson, Remy Bradley (7) and Whitney Nash; Lindsey Kamphuis and Jessica Miracle. Highlights—Patterson (H) 8K; Kamphuis (K) 7IP-10K-0H-0BB, 3x4, HR, 2 RBIs; Melanie Oord (K) 2x4, 3 RBIs; Jessica Edminster (K) 2x3; Emily Benson (K) 2x4.
Southridge 000 000 0 — 0 1 2
Kamiakin 103 301 x — 8 9 1
Sarah Gilliam, Allyx Copeland (5) and Makensie Meyer; Kamphuis, Kate Austin (6) and Miracle. Highlights—Hunter Schneitter (K) 3x3, RBI; Oord (K) 3x4; Kamphuis (K) 2x3, 2 RBIs, 2B, 13K.
Hanford 132 33 — 12 20 1
West Valley 100 00 — 1 7 2
Kayla De La Paz and Whitney Nash; Halley Ringer, Hannah Kivi (4) and Gabby Bryant, Maddy Roberts. Highlights—Lexi Alaniz (H) 3x3, 2 RBIs; Remy Bradley (H) 4x4, 2B, 2 SBs, RBI; De La Paz (H) 4x4, 2B, 3 RBIs; MaKenna Hall (H) 4x4, 3B, RBI.
Othello trumped Prosser 8-4 as the Huskies placed third in the district tournament at Carlon Park in Selah.
Othello opened the day with a 4-2 win against East Valley but followed with an 11-10 loss against Selah despite Alyssa Martinez’s 3-for-3 hitting. The Huskies also got doubles from Martinez, Kalinda Kosters and Holly Fleshman.
“I thought we played really well, especially in the game against Selah,” Othello coach Rudy Ochoa said. “When they started hitting the ball, it was hard to stop them.”
Selah beat Ellensburg 12-2 for the district title.
East Valley 000 002 0 — 2 3 1
Othello 100 021 x — 4 10 2
Mackenzie Ribail and Kellie Ross; Kim Bullis and Sofia Rodriguez. Highlights—Bullis (O) 2x3, 2B; Evelyn Miron (O) 2x3; Tori Zambrano 2x3.
Othello 005 203 0 — 10 13 3
Selah 300 016 1 — 11 17 3
2 outs when GW run scored. Morgan Logan, Kim Bullis (7) and Sofia Rodriguez; Mackenzie Zerr, Payton Gibbs (6) and Sarah Bersing. Highlights—Bullis (O) 2x3; Alyssa Martinez (O) 3x3, HR, 2B; Kalinda Kosters (O) 3x4, 2B; Holly Fleshman (O) 2x4, 2B; Laura Steinert (S) 4x5, HR; Bersing (S) 3x5, 3B, 2B; Cheyenne Fletcher (S) 4x5.
Othello 510 200 0 — 8 10 2
Prosser 301 000 0 — 4 7 4
Kim Bullis and Sofia Rodriguez; Makayla Morrow and Kelsey Alefteras. Highlights—Daisy Salgado (O) 2x5; Bullis (O) 2x5; Kenzie Koch (P) 2x4, HR; Cheyenne Silva (P) 2x3.