MATTAWA - It took 10 games into the season and a Class 2A team to finally knock the Class B SCHS Lady Knights from the undefeated ranks.
The Sunnyside Christian High School girls fastpitch softball team, this past Saturday, knocked off a pair of Class 1A clubs at the Wahluke Invitational to advance to the title game. The Lady Knights then gave Class 2A Naches all it could handle in the championship contest before succumbing, 6-5.
"I'm very pleased with our second place finish," said SCHS Coach Sandy Harris. "We hit the ball well all day."
All told, the Lady Knights came through with 26 hits on the day. That included a 4-for-9 offensive performance by Tami Lambrecht, who was named the "Offensive Player" of the tournament. Lambrecht saved her best for last, as she went 3-for-3 against Naches in the title game.
Lambrecht tripled in a run in the bottom of the third to draw Sunnyside Christian to within 3-2 of the Rangers. She also lashed an RBI double in the fifth frame, which pulled the Lady Knights to within 6-4 of Naches.
SCHS challenged to wrestle the lead away from the Rangers in the last inning. Tyssyna Van Wingerden opened with a single, moving to second on a single by Carly DeGroot, her second of the game. After DeGroot got caught stealing, Amy Mensonides slapped a single to score Van Wingerden, which drew the Lady Knights to within a single tally of Naches. The potential game tying rally was snuffed, though, when Mensonides got doubled off first on a pop-up to short.
Sunnyside Christian opened Saturday's tourney by edging the Warden Cougars, 6-5. The Lady Knights forged a 4-2 lead on Warden in the top of the second with a four-run uprising. Freshman Jacqui Roberts had a two-run single and sophomore Courtney Rice drove in a run with a single that frame.
The Lady Knights snapped a 4-all tie in the top of the fourth by pushing in two runs. DeGroot's RBI single was the key blow in the inning.
In the tournament semi-finals, Sunnyside Christian easily handled the host Wahluke Warriors, winning 12-3. Van Wingerden drove in a pair of first inning runs with a single enroute to the Lady Knights forging a 3-0 lead. The SCHS team broke a 3-3 tie in the top of the fifth by plating nine runs. Rice had a lead-off double in the fifth, Emma Hernandez had a single and a two-run double in the frame, freshman Brittany Den Hoed drove in two runs with a triple, DeGroot singled in two runs, and Van Wingerden was credited with an RBI single.
For the game, Van Wingerden went 3-for-4 at the plate with 3 RBI against Wahluke. Rice was 1-for-2 with two walks and three runs scored.
Pitching-wise for Sunnyside Christian, Hernandez spun a four-hitter in the tournament opener against Warden, but yielded 11 hits to Naches in the title game enroute to sustaining her first loss of the season. DeGroot pitched the second game of the tournament for the Lady Knights, twirling a two-hitter in SCHS's 12-3 victory.
Sunnyside Christian (6-0, 9-1) is scheduled to play two non-league games at Kittitas tomorrow (Tuesday), beginning at 3:30 p.m. The Lady Knights jump back into South Central 'B' League play this coming Friday at Klickitat.