ELLENSBURG - Playing a Regional tourney game this past Saturday to determine seeding into this coming weekend's State tournament, the Sunnyside Christian High School girls fastpitch softball team got blown off the field by the Entiat Tigers, 9-0.
The win by Entiat avenged a one-run loss to Sunnyside Christian suffered in last year's Regional tourney seeding contest.
"It was just one game for first and second seed to State," SCHS Coach Sandy Harris said in down-playing Saturday's shutout. "We didn't play like we're capable of.
"Entiat plays at a higher level than what we've been used to playing," she continued. "Now we've played at that level, we'll be ready for those kinds of teams when we play at State."
Saturday's loss lowered the Lady Knights' overall record on the season to 18-5.
Harris went on to say that one game doesn't define a season, and neither she nor her club are panicking heading into the State tourney this coming Friday and Saturday. The Lady Knights will open State tourney play this Friday at noon, against Odessa, the third seed out of District 7. The winner of that game will play Friday evening at 8 p.m., the loser at 4 p.m. that afternoon.
All of the 'B' State tournament games will be staged at Yakima's Kiwanis Fields.
For Sunnyside Christian, this is the fourth consecutive year the Lady Knights have qualified for State in the five years the school has fielded a fastpitch team. Last year, the SCHS squad earned the fourth place trophy at State.
In facing the Tigers this past Saturday, the daughters of the two Entitat coaches-the Ledbeter brothers-inflicted the most damage on the Lady Knights. The two girls ended up with half of the team's 10 hits. Makenzie Ledbeter, the Tigers' leadoff hitter, tripled in her first at-bat and ended up going 3-for-4 at the plate with three runs driven in. Kady Ledbeter enjoyed a 2-for-4 outing at the plate.
Entiat jumped out to a 3-0 first inning lead on Sunnyside Christian, adding a single tally in the bottom of the fourth and blowing the game open with a five-run fifth.
The Lady Knights managed just four hits off Entiat's hurler, Grover. All four hits were singles-by Naomi denHoed in the third, Jacqui Roberts in the fourth and Brittany denHoed and Emily Hernandez in the seventh.
That the Lady Knights could only come up with four hits was a bit of a surprise, considering Grover wasn't the top pitcher that Sunnyside Christian has faced this year.
"Nothing really outstanding," Harris responded when asked how Grover was able to keep the Lady Knights' bats quiet. "She did have a pretty good change-up that fooled a couple of our batters into striking out, but we should have been able to hit her," Harris said.
"It just seemed like we were out of sync on Saturday," Harris continued. "When we got girls on base, we made baserunning errors.
"It looked like we were watching the game, not participating in it," she said.
"But it's over, and we're treating it like it's just one game. We're going to move on and play the way we're capable of playing," she added.
SCHS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -0 4 4
Entiat 3 0 0 1 5 0 x -9 10 0
Hernandez and Newhouse. Grover and Rodriguez. SCHS highlights: Roberts 1B, B. denHoed 1B, Hernandez 1B, N. denHoed 1B. Entiat highlights: M] Ledbeter 3/4, 3B; K. Ledbeter 2/4.