After Connell senior right-hander Ashley Thompson notched her 13th strikeout Saturday against Kamiakin, a dust devil formed near first base and whirled around the infield.
Maybe her powerful arm wasn’t responsible for the dust devil, but Thompson kept whiffing the Braves on 60 mph pitches.
Hours after striking out all 18 batters she faced in a perfect game against Hanford, Thompson had 18 more Ks as two-time defending Class 1A state champion Connell beat reigning Class 3A champ Kamiakin 6-1 at Columbia Playfield in Richland.
“She’s the real deal,” Kamiakin coach Tim Bisson said of the BYU-bound Thompson. “She had 18 strikeouts against us. There’s a reason she’s D-I.”
The Braves went down 1-2-3 in the last three innings, with Thompson recording seven Ks. It wasn’t as easy as it looked, especially on her arm.
“I knew I had to stay mentally tough,” Thompson said. “I knew I could not break down, no matter what.”Her teammates gave her the run support she needed.
Michelle Schultz went 4-for-4 with three RBIs, and McKenna Mathis had a three-run blast for the Eagles, who have cruised against Mid-Columbia Conference teams this year.
Connell (6-0) has routed Kennewick, Hanford and Kamiakin by a combined score of 45-4 and will finish its MCC swing Tuesday against Walla Walla.
“Obviously we know some of these girls, so we know some of their tendencies,” Connell coach Andy Sawyer said. “But anytime you’re going up against a bigger school, you’re trying to make sure you’re getting everything you can out of it, scoring enough runs, making sure they’re playing the game we know how to play.”
In the first inning, an RBI single by Schultz and Mathis’ two-out homer put the Eagles ahead 4-0, and the Braves spent the rest of the game trying to cut into that lead.
Kamiakin’s only run came on Easton Young’s RBI single in the fourth.
Schultz, who hit a solo shot Saturday against Hanford, continued to play her cleanup role to perfection. The senior first baseman had an RBI double in the fifth and singled in Savannah Egbert in the seventh for the winning margin.
“Ashley is always consistent, moving people around the bases,” Schultz said of batting right behind Thompson, who also homered in the Hanford game. “I think it’s fun to be able to back her up and do the same thing.”
Thompson is encouraged by what the Eagles have achieved so far this season.
“I’m so proud of everyone,” she said. “Everyone’s been doing a phenomenal job. I think that we’re going to do pretty well this year.”
Bisson believes they will do more than that.
“They should win another state title,” he said. “I can’t imagine someone’s going to beat them.”
Connell 400 010 1 — 6 9 0
Kamiakin 000 100 0 — 1 3 1
Ashley Thompson and Alex Shuster; Kate Austin and Alexis Rodriguez. Highlights—Emily Benson (K) 2B; Easton Young (K) RBI; Thompson (C) 7IP-18K-3H-2BB; Michelle Schultz (C) 4x4, 2 2Bs, 3 RBIs; McKenna Mathis (C) 3-run HR; Hope Sawyer (C) 2B; Savannah Egbert (C) 2B.
Richland loses to Lake City, Kamiakin: Abby Perryman drove in two runs, and Courtney Kent and April Utecht each had three hits, but the Bombers fell 10-6 to nationally ranked Lake City (Idaho) in a nonconference mixer in Richland.
Lake City ace Casey Stangel, who has signed with Missouri, struck out 11 but also gave up 14 hits.
Richland played part of the game without two of its best hitters, Utecht and Kayla Andrews. Both of them suffered injuries against the Timberwolves, and Andrews’ strained upper back kept her from pitching later in the day against Kamiakin.
The Braves went on to beat the Bombers 9-8 after Jessica Edminster’s go-ahead sacrifice fly in the seventh.
Melanie Oord hit a two-run homer for Kamiakin, and Hunter Schneitter finished with two RBIs.
Monika Hebky drove in three runs to lead Richland, and Stephanie Merwin had two RBIs.
Lake City 240 010 3 — 10 17 1
Richland 001 030 2 — 6 14 2
Casey Stangel and Lindsey Willmon; Paige Goulet, Abby Perryman (2) and April Utecht, Paige Liikala (7). Highlights—Vanessa Shippy (LC) 5x5, 2B, 3 RBIs; Amy Welsh (LC) 4x4, 2B, 3B; Stangel (LC) 2x4, 2B, 7IP-11K; Stephanie Merwin (R) 1x3, 3B, 2R; Courtney Kent (R) 3x5; Utecht (R) 3x4, RBI; Monika Hebky (R) 1x3, 2B; Perryman (R) 1x4, 2 RBIs; Maddy Jones (R) 1x4, 2B.
Kamiakin 002 600 1 — 9 11 2
Richland 222 101 0 — 8 14 2
Cassie Ramsey, Kate Austin (4) and Tawny Becker; Goulet, Perryman (4) and Utecht. Highlights—Hunter Schneitter (K) 1x4, 2B, 2 RBIs; Melanie Oord (K) 2x4, 2-run HR, 3 RBIs; Easton Young (K) 3x4, 2B, RBI; Becker (K) 2x4; Merwin (R) 3x4, 2B, 2 RBIs; Utecht (R) 1x3, 2B; Hebky (R) 3x4, 2B, 3 RBIs; Jones (R) 2x4; Mazie Gilliam (R) 3x3, 2 2Bs, RBI.
HANFORD DROPS PAIR: Connell pitcher Ashley Thompson tossed a six-inning perfect game, striking out all 18 batters she faced, as Connell beat Hanford 12-0 in a nonleague contest.
Hanford’s Kayla De La Paz hit a double in the Falcons’ second game, but Lake City still came away with a 21-2 win.
Connell 027 003 — 12 9 0
Hanford 000 000 — 0 0 2
Ashley Thompson and Alex Shuster; Kadi Patterson, Kayla De La Paz (4) and MaKenna Hall. Highlights—Thompson 18 Ks, 2x4, HR; Michelle Schultz (C) solo HR; Grayson Corrales (C) 2x4, 2B, Savannah Egbert (C) 3B.
Lake City 455 43 — 21 21 2
Hanford 020 00 — 2 4 3
Casey Stangel and Lindsey Willmon; De La Paz, Patterson (3) and Hall, Whitney Nash (3). Highlights—De La Paz 2B.
Royal 9-9, Ki-Be 5-4: The Knights collected 18 runs on 21 hits and turned a rare triple play during an SCAC East win over the Bears.
Royal 101 311 2 — 9 12 3
Kiona-Benton 002 000 3 — 5 4 5
Seila Jenks and Tahlia Ledesma; Emily Thornton and Meaghan Phelan. Highlights—Sam Eilers (R) 4x4, 3 RBI, 3 R; Ledesma (R) 3x5, 2B, RBI; Kayla Smith (R) 2B, 3B; Jenks (R) 2 RBI, 8 Ks; Thornton 3x4, 2B, 3B; Kayley McGhan (KB) 2x4, RBI; Andi Corriell (KB) 2B, 2 RBI.
Royal 301 023 0 — 9 9 3
Kiona-Benton 300 010 0 — 4 2 1
Jenks and Ledesma; McGhan and Phelan. Highlights—Eilers (R) 2 RBI; Ledesma RBI; Kailee Harris (R) 3 RBI; Samantha Cera (R) 2B, RBI, turned triple play with Harris; Flor Araujo (R) 2x3, 3B, 3 RBI, 16 putouts; Thornton (KB) 3B; Corriell (KB) 2 RBI.
River View 13-7, Columbia (Burbank) 3-2: Jayme Walker had five RBIs on the day as the Panthers swept the Coyotes on the road to start SCAC East play.
Brittany Cotsford pitched both games for Columbia (Burbank), striking out a total of 18. She also finished the doubleheader with six hits.
River View 00(10) 000 3 — 13 14 3
Columbia (Burbank) 012 000 0 — 3 12 3
Kaylee Lozier and Shelby Salter; Brittany Cotsford and Rachel Roberts. Highlights—Karissa Sallee (RV) 2x4, 3R; Ashley Dickinson (RV) 3x3, 3 RBIs; Jessica Burrus (RV) 2x4; Jayme Walker (RV) 2x5, 2 RBIs; Rachel Doran (RV) 2x5, 2-run 2B; Christina Reisenauer (CB) 2x5; Cotsford (CB) 4x4, 7IP-10K; Hannah Glazier (CB) 2x4.
River View 012 002 2 — 7 9 3
Columbia (Burbank) 101 000 0 — 2 7 1
Lozier and Salter; Cotsford and Roberts. Highlights—Dickinson (RV) 2x4, 2B; Burrus (RV) 2x4; Walker (RV) 2x4, 3 RBIs, 2B; Reisenauer (CB) 2x4; Cotsford (CB) 2x4, 7IP-8K; Roberts (CB) 2B.
Dayton 6-8, Asotin 5-4: Courtney Mings went 2-for-3 in the opener, and Malia Frame, Jessica Tate and Sam Harting each had two hits in Game 2 to lead the host Bulldogs to a Southeast 2B sweep.
Asotin 021 110 0 — 5 3 0
Dayton 041 010 x — 6 6 3
Mullins and Macy; Sam Harting and Sarah Phillips. Highlights—Bosley (A) 2x4; Courtney Mings (D) 2x3, 2B.
Asotin 000 201 1 — 4 11 2
Dayton 301 022 x — 8 10 4
Mullins and Macy; Lexus Ward and Phillips. Highlights—Mullins (A) 2x3; Macy (A) 3x4; Malia Frame (D) 2x4; Jessica Tate (D) 2x3; Harting (D) 2x3.
DESALES 11-15, TRI-CITIES PREP 4-0: Ashlyn Lyons scattered three hits in the opener and Kaylee Brown tossed a 1-hitter in the nightcap as DeSales swept host Tri-Cities Prep in a Southeast 2B doubleheader.
DeSales 310 330 1 — 11 12 1
Tri-Cities Prep 010 030 0 — 4 3 2
Ashlyn Lyons and Brittney Postlewait; Victoria Vargas and Scarlett Kon. Highlights—Lyons 2x3, triple, 4 RBIs, 14 K’s; Teresa Haycock (D) 2x4; Molli Lesko (D) 2x5, triple;Claire Conley (D) 2x4, triple, 3 RBIs; Allesyn Lyons (D) 2x3; Bri James (D) 2x3.
Desales 207 42 — 15 18 1
Tri-Cities Prep 000 00 — 0 1 1
Kaylee Brown and Postlewait; Vargas and Kon. Highlights—Haycock 2x4; Lesko 2x4, 2B, 3B; Ash.Lyons 2x3, 3B; Postlewait 2x3; Brown 3x3; Bobbie Prior (D) 3x4, 3 RBIs; Cara Hall (D) 2x3, 2B.
Gar-Pal 7-16, LC 4-23: Sarah Croskrey and Isabella Loera combined for five hits and 11 runs in Game 2 to help the Patriots split a Southeast 1B doubleheader against Garfield-Palouse.
Liberty Christian scored 10 runs in the first inning of the opener, but Gar-Pal fought back to tie the score at 14 in the top of the fourth.
Garfield-Palouse 002 002 3 — 7 10 0
Liberty Christian 210 000 1 — 4 5 1
C.Pfaff and S. Johnson; Kiersten Peterson and Sarah Croskrey. Highlights—Peterson (LC) 2x3, 3B, 2-run HR; B.Brown (GP) 2x4, R; C. Pfaff (GP) 3x4, R; Martin (GP) 2x4, 2B; Isabella Loera (LC) 2x4.
Garfield Palouse 123 820 0 — 16 13 1
Liberty Christian (10)40 252 x — 23 14 9
Cochran, Pfaff (1) and Rodriguez; Peterson and Croskrey. Highlights—Pfaff (GP) 2x5, 2B; McClanahan (GP) 2x4, 2B, 3 R; Bellenburg (GP) 3x5, 2R; Wilson (GP) 2x5, 2R; Croskrey 2x3, 5R, 3BB; Loera (LC) 3x3, 6R; Peterson (LC) 3x5, 2B, 3R; Reilly Walker 3x5, 3B, 2R; Courtney Grant (LC) 2x4, 3R.
Warden 9-9, Quincy 0-8: In the second game, the Cougars had five hits during a six-run sixth inning, rallying to complete a sweep of the host Jackrabbits.
Warden’s Iris Rodriguez, who struck out 12 in the opener, had a double, triple and home run in Game 2.
Warden 003 020 4 — 9 8 0
Quincy 000 000 0 — 0 1 2
Iris Rodriguez and Bianca Hernandez; Chavez and Lindell. Highlights—Rodriguez (W) 7IP-12K; Aalyiah Enriquez (W) 2x4, 2 RBIs, HR; Hernandez (W) 2B; Brenda DeLeon (W) 2B.
Warden 110 106 0 — 9 8 4
Quincy 031 202 0 — 8 5 2
Enriquez, Rodriguez (5) and Hernandez; Smith and Lindell. Highlights—Rodriguez (W) 3x4, 2B, 3B, HR; Hernandez (W) 3B; Enriquez (W) 3B.
Touchet 5-7, Colton 4-6: The Indians pulled out two late-inning wins, scoring on a pair of passed balls to earn a Southeast 1B doubleheader sweep over the Wildcats.
Courtney Creek scored the winning run in Game 1, and Morgan Cardwell hit a two-run double with two outs in the seventh inning in Game 2 before coming home on the error.
Colton 201 100 0 — 4 3 0
Touchet 301 000 1 — 5 9 2
Two outs when winning run scored. Schultheis and Hennigar; Makayla Bishop and Jennifer Aceves. Highlights—Kristen Warner (T) 2x4, 2B, 2-run 3B in first; Courtney Creek (T) scored from 3rd on PB; Morgan Cardwell (T) 2B; Cierra McEwen (T) 3x3.
Colton 211 101 0 — 6 7 0
Touchet 102 010 3 — 7 7 3
Two outs when winning run scored. Moser and Hennigar; Harlie Schaeffer and Bishop. Highlights—Cardwell (T) 2-run 2B in 7th with 2 outs. stole third, scored on PB; Warner (T) 2x3; Bishop (T) 2x3.