Despite a combined five hits from sophomores Victoria Solis and Monique Montelongo, the Sunnyside High School girls fastpitch softball team dropped a 15-8 non-league contest to the Kiona-Benton Bears Thursday afternoon.
Sunnyside's downfall was committing 15 errors.
Solis and Montelongo had five of the seven hits the Lady Grizzlies came up with off Ki-Be hurler Rachelle Feth.
Solis, playing center field, enjoyed a 3-for-4 effort at the plate. She drove in a run with a single in the bottom of the fifth and added an RBI double in the sixth.
Montelongo, getting her first taste playing third, was credited with an RBI single in the third. She also singled in the sixth inning and scored.
Sunnyside Coach Kris Gonzalez said besides Montelongo coming through with a 2-for-3 offensive performance, the sophomore showed grit in her first start of the season at third.
"She's not afraid of the ball," said Gonzalez. "There were times I had to tell her to back up, not play in so close.
"What's nice about Monique, she can play just about anywhere. In fact, she finished the game in right field for us yesterday," Gonzalez said.
"She's a competitor," Gonzalez added.
Sunnyside tied the game at 3-3 by plating three runs in the bottom of the third. Montelongo's RBI single was the big hit in the inning.
The Bears went ahead 9-3, but Sunnyside cut the gap by scoring twice in the bottom of the fifth. Solis singled to drive in catcher Celeste Allen, who had walked, and Solis then stole second, advanced to third on a passed ball and scampered home on a grounder off the bat of Erika Garcia that was misplayed for an error.
Ki-Be tallied six runs in the top of the sixth to put the game out of reach. The Lady Grizzlies came up with three runs of their own in the bottom half of the sixth. Montelongo had a single in the frame, and Solis and Allen socked an RBI double and RBI single, respectively.
Viri Pasillas (0-2) absorbed the loss for the Lady Grizzlies. She pitched her way into the fourth inning before being replaced by Erika Garcia.
Gonzalez said it wasn't so much a case of Pasillas tiring or being in trouble. Rather, said Gonzalez, she pulled Pasillas to simply give Garcia some work on the pitching rubber.
Ki-Be's top hitters yesterday were Cunningham (3-for-5) and H. Poole (2-for-4).
Sunnyside (0-0, 0-4) is out of action until Friday, April 2, when the Lady Grizzlies travel to Prosser for their first Mid-Valley League doubleheader.
"We'll use the time between now and then to sharpen our tools," said Gonzalez. "We still have quite a few things to work on."