ELLENSBURG - The Sunnyside High School girls fastpitch softball team dropped a heartbreaker in the opening game of a twin bill against Ellensburg this past Saturday. In the nightcap, the Bulldogs used the momentum they gained from staging their opening game last inning rally to subdue the Lady Grizzlies, 10-1.
The doubleheader sweep dropped Sunnyside to 1-9 in the Mid-Valley League standings. The Lady Grizzlies close out regular season play tomorrow (Tuesday) against visiting Prosser.
Sunnyside Coach Ralph Mendoza said he believes his team needs a split against the Mustangs to secure the final league berth into the District playoffs, scheduled for this coming Saturday in Richland.
In last Saturday's opener, Ellensburg rallied from a 5-4 deficit in its last at-bat to eke out a 6-5 victory. And, the Bulldogs scored the two last inning runs with two outs.
Following a pair of groundouts, induced by Sunnyside hurler Sammy Garcia, Ellensburg started its come-from-behind bid with a triple off the bat of Laura Wyatt. Megan Kopzinski followed with an RBI single to knot the score at five-all. A walk to Jen Armstrong pushed Kopzinski into scoring position, and Jessica Bowen made the Lady Grizzlies pay, socking a double to plate the winning run.
"It was a tough way to lose," admitted Mendoza. "We were one out from winning it."
The loss also ruined a pretty decent pitching performance by Garcia.
"Sammy pitched a heckuva game," said Mendoza. "She gave us an opportunity to win."
Sunnyside took a 5-4 lead on Ellensburg by plating a pair of runs in the top of the sixth. Amanda Montelongo, who was 2-for-3 in the game, started the rally by singling her way aboard and then stealing second. Lacey Yanez followed with a single to push Montelongo to third. A sac bunt laid down by Devina Martinez scored Montelongo to tie the game, then the Lady Grizzlies forged ahead when Yanez scampered home on a passed ball.
In Saturday's nightcap, Armstrong limited the Lady Grizzlies to just two hits enroute to Ellensburg picking up the 10-1 victory. Sunnyside scored its lone run in the top of the fifth, with Marina Martinez's single the key blow in the frame.
S'side 1 0 1 1 0 2 0 -5 4 2
E'burg 0 2 0 2 0 0 2 -6 10 0
Garcia and Soto. Armstrong and Kopzinski. Hits-(S'side) Montelongo 2/3.
S'side 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 -1 2 7
E'burg 1 2 2 4 0 1 x -10 7 0
Vasquez, Garcia (4) and Fernandez. Armstrong and Kopzinski.