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Early innings doom Sunnyside Lady Grizzlies

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Sunnyside's Kassie Luther can't avoid the tag of Selah's Jennifer Wane in the fourth inning of play yesterday.

Take away the first two innings of yesterday's softball game between the Sunnyside Lady Grizzlies and the Selah Vikings and spectators would have seen a tight ball game.

However, the Lady Vikes exploded for 11 runs in the first two innings and then matched the Lady Grizzlies after that for a 14-3 non-league victory.

There were two crucial errors in the first inning that allowed Selah to amass a 4-0 lead.

With the bases loaded, a Selah player hit a sharp drive to third base. What could have turned into a double play instead ended up with two base runners scoring as the third baseman mishandled the ball.

A little later in the inning, with the bases loaded again, a Selah player hit a smart shot to the shortstop, who allowed the ball to get pass her, scoring two more runs.

In the second inning the Selah hitters went to work on Sunnyside's young pitcher, Maleesha Maltos. The Vikings took advantage of seven walks in the second inning and Lauren Zeutenhorst hit a three-run triple, as the Vikings scored seven runs. Maltos, who recorded two outs in the inning, was replaced by Erica Sabedra, who got a Selah player to pop up to end the inning.

In the bottom of the third inning Sunnyside finally got on the scoreboard.

Kassie Luther led off with a double into the left center field gap. After the Selah pitcher walked Stephanie Sanchez, Luther moved to third base on a wild pitch.

Victoria Ramos then drove Luther home when she hit a sharp single between the shortstop and third base. On the play Sanchez advanced to second and then moved to third on a passed ball.

Kasi Guillen then hit a ball to deep center field. Although an out was recorded, Sanchez was able to tag up and score the second run of the inning.

Sunnyside's Ruby Herrera recorded the Grizzlies' second out but her hit advanced Ramos to third base. An infield hit by Savanna Martinez then scored Ramos.

Sabedra pitched well, giving up three hits, two walks and scattering three runs over three and one-third innings.

"She induced a lot of fly balls," Sunnyside Coach Ralph Mendoza said of Sabedra. "She was hitting her marks, putting the ball into play."

Mendoza said the Grizzly defense was able to back her up.

Selah's Amber Gooch hit a two-run homer in the top of the fifth to put the Vikings up by 11. After Sunnyside failed to score in the bottom half of the fifth, the game was called due to the 10-run mercy rule.

Luther went 1-for-3 with a double for Sunnyside. Ramos was 1-for-2, Martinez was 1-for-2, Melissa Amarro was 1-for-1 and Alexas Alvarez went 1-for-1.

"The first two innings the girls had the jitters," Mendoza said. "After that we settled down. We only allowed seven hits in the game. Take away the 12 walks and we're in the ball game. If we can fix that we'll be competitors."

Sunnyside (0-1) will host the Kamiakin Braves in a Columbia Basin League match-up today (Friday) at 2:30 p.m.

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