Most games, when a high school girls fastpitch softball team gives up 13 hits, a loss usually follows. That wasn't the case yesterday afternoon for the Sunnyside Christian Lady Knights.
Sunnyside Christian matched the visiting LaSalle Lightning hit for hit, even going three better with 16 base knocks of their own, to pull out a thrilling 14-13 victory.
"It was the type of game we needed going into Saturday's District tournament," said Sunnyside Christian Coach Sandy Harris.
"We hit the ball really well. It was an exciting game...a fun game.
"I really believe we're coming together at the right time," she said.
The Lady Knights were down by one run, 13-12, heading into their seventh and final at-bat yesterday. Kelly Newhouse got the come-from-behind rally started by singling her way aboard, her second hit of the game. Joleen Van Wingerden advanced her to second with a sac bunt.
That set the stage for Naomi den Hoed's third hit Wednesday afternoon. She stepped to the plate and blasted a triple, with the ball landing just inside the left field foul line. Newhouse raced home with the tying run on the mammoth blast.
Abby Bangs was next up for the Lady Knights. She tried scoring den Hoed from third with a bunt, but the Lightning held the base runner to the bag, allowing Bangs to make her way aboard. On the play, Bangs moved to second while the LaSalle infield was occupied in keeping den Hoed at third.
Following an infield pop-up off the bat of Melanie Van Wingerden, who came through earlier in the contest with three hits, Hilari Bosma went down swinging for the third out of the inning. The LaSalle catcher let the ball get behind her, though, and den Hoed went charging to the plate down the third base line. Instead of trying to throw Bosma out at first, the catcher flipped the ball to pitcher Whitney Anderson, covering home. Anderson was unable to get the tag on den Hoed, who slid in safely with the winning run.
LaSalle scored a single run in the top of the second to take a 1-0 lead, but the Lady Knights countered with eight tallies in their half of the second to go up 8-1. Bangs and Makaela Duim each drove in two runs that frame, with a double and single, respectively. Leah Bosma added a run-scoring double in the frame, as well as a single. Also swatting single-base hits for Sunnyside Christian that inning were Julie Long, den Hoed and Melanie Van Wingerden.
Both clubs notched three-run third innings to push Sunnyside Christian's lead out to 11-4. The Lightning passed the Lady Knights, though, with four runs in the top of the fourth and five more in the fifth.
Bangs delivered an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth to cut the deficit to 13-12, which set up the seventh inning heroics for the Lady Knights.
Hitting-wise, den Hoed, Bangs and Melanie Van Wingerden each banged out three hits for Sunnyside Christian. Leah Bosma and Newhouse each added two-hit performances at the plate.
For the visiting Lightning, the relief pitcher, Anderson, went a perfect 4-for-4 at the dish. Starting hurler Tori Gonzalez had a three-run homer for LaSalle in the top of the fourth.
Sunnyside Christian (13-6) opens the 1B District/Regional tournament at Zillah Middle School this coming Saturday at noon. The Lady Knights' opponent in the loser-out game will be Pateros. A victory over Pateros will advance Sunnyside Christian to the District title game at 2:30 p.m., against the winner of Saturday's 10:30 a.m. game between Klickitat and Thorp. Only the District/Regional champ will advance to this year's State tournament.
Jennie McGhan/Daily Sun News
Sunnyside Christian third baseman Leah Bosma is unable to hang on to the ball, distracted by a hard-charging, sliding LaSalle base runner yesterday afternoon. Bosma made up for the missed catch, however, delivering a 2-for-4 performance at the plate, which included socking an RBI double in the Lady Knights' eight-run outburst in the bottom of the second.