The Kamiakin High School softball team led for almost the entirety of its Mid-Columbia Conference doubleheader against host Chiawana on Friday, but the Riverhawks never went away and fought to earn a split.
Sam Cissne hit a walk-off single in the first game to give Chiawana a 3-2 win. The Riverhawks tried digging out of a six-run hole in the second game, but came up just short, falling 6-5.
“It was a great day,” Chiawana coach Paul Antonovich said. “Both teams played really, really well today. It was fun.”
In the circle and at the plate, Kamiakin’s Andria Skeels and Chiawana’s Annalisa McKinney shined through in both games. Skeels pitched eight innings in total, which included a four-out save in the second game, and McKinney gave up just two hits over 7 1/3 scoreless frames and also hit a solo homer.
GAME 1: After never leading, Chiawana tied the game in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI single by Hannah Johnson, and Cissne’s walkoff plated Anisa Garcia for the win.
“We chipped away and chipped away, and at the end of the game we finally got some big hits, some timely hits, and came out with the W,” Antonovich said. “They are awesome workers, and they just battled the whole day, it was great.”
Skeels had a gem going into the final frame, giving up just one run on four hits through the first six innings, but was ultimately stuck with the loss in her complete game effort.
Makenna Morgan accounted for both of Kamiakin’s runs, driving in Dani Mastaler on a ground ball to first in the third inning, and scoring on a wild pitch in the fifth.
Cissne also drove in Chiawana’s first run, in the bottom of the fifth, on a line drive single that plated Izabel Stohel to cut Kamiakin’s lead to one.
“Sam Cissne has been great for us in the leadoff spot all year, and has come up with some big hits,” Antonovich said.
Mailie Bishop threw six innings of two-run, four-hit ball for Chiawana, but earned just a no decision. McKinney got the win for pitching a scoreless seventh.
GAME 2: The Braves quickly exercised their frustrations from the first game as they led off the nightcap by scoring six runs in the top of the first, which proved to be just enough to get the win to salvage a split. The explosive inning was highlighted by a bases-clearing triple by sophomore Lexi Brown.
“We all keep our heads up and we push each other,” Skeels said. “We’re all really aggressive hitters and we’re able to just keep getting base hits, and eventually a power hitter will come up and drive us in.”
After Kamiakin did its damage, McKinney came on in relief of the struggling Bishop to get the final out of the first inning, and shut the door for the rest of the game, allowing just one hit over 6 1/3 innings.
“To be honest, it was nice to see,” Kamiakin coach Tim Bisson said of Kamiakin’s six runs in the first inning. “But at the same time, you look up at that scoreboard and there are a lot of zeroes after the first.”
The Riverhawks rallied behind McKinney’s performance in the circle to make another comeback attempt.
Morgan Hirai laced an RBI double in the fourth, Johnson drove in Stoehl with an infield single in the fifth and McKinney helped her own cause by launching a solo homer to left center in the sixth to make it a 6-5 game.
“Annalisa, she shut them down ... and came through with that big hit,” Antonovich said. “I just wish we would have had some base runners there.”
After the homer, Skeels came on in relief of Mya Moore — who gave up seven hits over 5 2/3 innings — and the Kamiakin ace was able to stop the bleeding and pick up a four-out save against the bottom of the Riverhawks’ order.
Kamiakin: Clinched the top MCC 3A seed with the split. Will try to go for the season sweep against Walla Walla Tuesday at home, which would greatly improve Chiawana’s postseason outlook.
Chiawana: Trails Walla Walla by two games — split season series — for the MCC 4A No. 2 seed with three games to go. However, the Blue Devils a brutally tough schedule left with Kamiakin Tuesday and a home doubleheader against Richland to cap the season. Chiawana hosts Pasco on Tuesday and plays a doubleheader at Kennewick May 5.
Highlights: K, AyJay Mullholland 2x3, SB; Makenna Morgan 1x2, 2b, R, RBI; Andria Skeels 6.2IP-7H-3R-6K-1BB. C, Sam Cissne 2x4, 2b, 2RBI; Hannah Johnson 1x2, 2b, R, RBI; Mailie Bishop 6IP-4H-2R-1ER-2K-2BB; Annalisa McKinney 1IP-1H-0R-0BB.
Highlights: K, Lexi Brown 3b, R, RBI; Mya Moore 5.2IP-7H-5R-5K-4BB; Skeels 1.1IP-0H-0R-3K-1BB. C, McKinney HR, 2BB, 2R, RBI, 6.1IP-1H-0R-4K-1BB; Morgan Hirai 2b, BB, R, RBI, 2SB; Haley Cartenga 2b, 2RBI.