MATTAWA - A ticky-tacky call prevented what could have been a clean sweep for the Sunnyside Christian High School girls fastpitch softball team at last Saturday's Wahluke Invitational.
Regardless, the Lady Knights won a pair of games against just one loss to improve their overall record on the season to 8-3.
The questionable call came in the eighth inning of Saturday's opener, which went Warden's way by a 6-5 score. The umpires enforced the seldom-used "look-back rule," designed to keep base runners from coaxing a throw from the defensive team. At the time, Emily Hernandez was on third base with the tying run, but the officials ruled she didn't make it back to the bag within the one-second allowance of when Warden got the ball back to the pitcher's rubber. Hernandez was called out on the play, which was the third out of the inning and ended the overtime affair.
Warden pushed in the winning run in the top half of the eighth, on an RBI double off the bat of its pitcher, Stott.
Sunnyside Christian trailed Warden early, by a 5-2 count, but squared the contest at 5-all with a three-run surge in the bottom of the fifth. Hernandez, who was 3-for-4 in the game, and Naomi denHoed and Melanie Van Wingerden each singled in the three-run uprising.
The Lady Knights, still steaming from the arbitrary call by the umps, exploded for eight runs in the first inning of their next game against Mabton. It would be all the runs Sunnyside Christian would get in the game, but they were more than enough as the SCHS girls limited the Lady Vikes to goose eggs on the scoreboard.
Hernandez turned in her best performance of the season against Mabton, twirling a no-hitter. The senior hurler fanned seven along the way while walking only one.
Sunnyside Christian scored its eight, first inning runs on a total of seven hits, including a triple by Hernandez. Two-run singles by Tori Van Wingerden and Abby Berkompas also figured in prominently.
The Lady Knights won their second game of the day against the Riverview Panthers. Trailing 4-3, Sunnyside Christian plated two runs in the bottom of the sixth and made them stand up for a 5-4 victory. Emma Newhouse opened the sixth by drawing a walk. Following a Berkompas pinch hit sacrifice bunt that pushed Newhouse to third, Melanie Van Wingerden socked a single to tie the game at 4-4. Later in the inning, the Lady Knights scored what would be the winning run on a passed ball.
Against the Panthers, Tori Van Wingerden had the only multi-hit performance, going 2-for-3 at the plate. Newhouse, 1-for-1, contributed mightily, though, ripping a two-run single in the bottom of the first to give SCHS a 2-0 lead.
Sunnyside Christian is scheduled to play a league doubleheader at Mabton this coming Friday.