RICHLAND - When a pitcher sets a school record with 16 strikeouts in a single game, all you can hope for is that it comes against someone else.
Unfortunately for the Sunnyside High School girls fastpitch softball team, it didn't.
In the opening round of last Saturday's Mid-Valley League District tournament, Kristina Doty fanned 16 Lady Grizzlies to lead West Valley to a dominating 6-0 victory. The defeat in the loser-out District contest ended Sunnyside's season. West Valley went on to place third at District, losing to eventual District champ Selah but rebounding for an 8-3 win over Ellensburg.
Sunnyside (1-11, 4-17) scraped together four hits against Doty, but they were scattered and the Lady Grizzlies never really posed a threat to the powerhouse Rams. That was due chiefly to Doty, who set Lady Grizzly after Lady Grizzly down on strikes.
"She (Doty) was the story of the game," said first year Sunnyside Coach Ralph Mendoza.
"She was locating her pitches well, and was getting ahead in the count on most of our batters," said Mendoza. "Plus, we were chasing a lot of high, inside heat.
"She also had some pretty decent speed," Mendoza added.
Doty's performance from the pitching rubber overshadowed a pretty decent effort by Sunnyside's own pitcher, Sammy Garcia. The Rams only scored one earned run off Garcia, as the Lady Grizzlies committed three errors behind her. Both of West Valley's runs in the first inning were unearned, and three of the four runs the Rams plated in the bottom of the third were unearned, as well.
Garcia ended up getting touched for eight hits while striking out one, "...but their eight hits were pretty well spread out," Mendoza said.
The four Sunnyside girls who came up with hits off Doty were Samantha Taylor, Marina Martinez, Jessica Cruz and Victoria Solis.
(District opening round game)
S'side 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -0 4 3
WV 2 0 4 0 0 0 x -6 8 0
Garcia and Soto. Doty and Hester.