ZILLAH - The hopes of the Mabton High School fastpitch team reaching the Regional playoffs this coming weekend were dashed by a determined Lyle squad that only got better as the day went on.
The Lady Vikings saw their season come to a end following a 3-0 loss to Lyle. The Lady Cougars nabbed the second seed into this weekend's Regional tournament.
"The girls had a great season," said Mabton Coach Jesus Sustaita.
Mabton started out the District playoffs in Zillah this past Saturday against Lyle. The Lady Vikes posted a crushing 11-7 whipping on the Cougars.
Mabton pitcher Alida Mendoza held the Lady Cougars to only two runs, coming in the second and fourth innings. Things kind of fell apart for Mendoza, though, in the top of the seventh, when Lyle plated five runs. Mendoza, who collected six strikeouts, gave up six walks in the seventh inning. The game ended when Mendoza struck out a batter and then Mabton turned a double play by getting the last out at third base.
The Lady Vikes looked solid throughout, plating a pair of runs in both the first and third innings. Mabton also scored a run in the second. The Lady Vikes had back-to-back three-run innings in the fifth and sixth. Mayra Diaz started the fifth off with a walk and then moved over to second off a bunt from Celida Diaz. Diana Lopez had her only hit of the game for Mabton with an RBI double. Patty Mendoza, who was 2-for-5, ripped another extra base hit to score Lopez. Alida Mendoza, who was 2-for-4, then singled to plate the last run.
Sustaita said Mabton was able to capitalize on the 17 walks Lyle's pitcher gave up.
Celida Diaz had two of Mabton's nine hits for the game. Both Mayra Diaz and Diana Lopez drew three walks each.
The win propelled Mabton into the championship game against Sunnyside Christian.
But, the hot bats of the Lady Knights and the pitching of Sunnyside Christian's Emily Hernandez were too much for the Lady Vikes. Mabton fell 5-1 in the title tilt.
"They just hit the ball," said Sustaita of Sunnyside Christian, which had nine hits in the game. "It was a well played game. Sunnyside Christian just had a few more hits than us."
Mabton's lone run was off a double from Lopez to plate Sara Sosa in the fifth inning.
Lopez was 2-for-3 for Mabton, which had three hits in the game.
The loss dropped Mabton into the consolation game against Lyle, which bounced back from its earlier loss to the Lady Vikes to beat Klickitat. Lyle won the Mabton game 3-0 behind a much improved pitching performance from its hurler.
The Lady Cougars pitcher gave up 17 walks the first time the two teams played earlier in the day, but only surrendered two freebies the second time around.
"She was a lot more consistent," said Sustaita of the Lyle pitcher.
Sustaita said Mabton's problem the second time around was his team would hit the ball directly to Lyle's players, making for some easy outs.
Lyle scored all three of its runs in the top of the second.
Alida Mendoza surrendered three waks in the top of the second which was coupled with one Mabton error. Mendoza finished the game with two strikeouts and allowed six hits.
Mabton had five hits against Lyle. Alida Mendoza had the only multiple hit game, going 2-for-3. Mayra Diaz, Lopez and Josie Chase each had a hit.
The Lady Vikes finished their season 8-4 in Greater Columbia 'B' League pay and 13-10 overall.