ZILLAH - For only the second time in the last seven years, the Sunnyside Christian High School girls fastpitch softball team won't be advancing to the State tournament.
The Lady Knights were upset last Saturday at Regionals by the lightly regarded Pateros Nanny Goats, 3-2.
Pateros then got smacked by Thorp, 12-6, in the Regional championship game, bringing an end to the Nanny Goats' season.
In knocking off Sunnyside Christian at Regionals, Pateros did so without scoring a single earned run.
"All three of their runs were unearned," said Sunnyside Christian Coach Sandy Harris. "We had five errors in the game.
"We could have overcome those mistakes, though, if we had just been able to hit the ball," she added.
The frustrating part of it was, Pateros pitcher Katie Richardson should have been very hittable. With no real breaking balls in her arsenal, and a fast ball that lacked any real zip, Richardson simply went about her chores in workman-like fashion.
"Most of the time we were swinging way out ahead of her pitches," said Harris. "We didn't make the adjustment to the slower speed of her pitches."
The Nannies struck first in the loser-out game at Zillah Middle School, plating two runs in the top of the second. The lead-off hitter got aboard via a Sunnyside Christian error, then moved to second on a passed ball. Following a strikeout and a walk, Erica Odle drove in the first run with a double. Pateros scored a second run when a pop-up to the outfield was dropped.
The Lady Knights closed to within 2-1 by tallying a lone score in the bottom of the third. Naomi den Hoed, who was 2-for-3 in the game, reached base with a single, stole second and raced home on a single put into play by Hilari Bosma.
Pateros got a run back in its next at-bat, thanks to a single and two more Sunnyside Christian errors.
Down 3-1 heading into their final at-bat in the bottom of the seventh, the Lady Knights made things interesting. The senior den Hoed got the rally started when she got plunked with a pitch. She immediately stole second, then advanced to third on a sac fly off the bat of Leah Bosma. Melanie Van Wingerden drove den Hoed in with a groundout to make it a 3-2 ball game.
Richardson, however, came through with her seventh strikeout of the game to end the inning, and the contest.
All told, the Lady Knights only managed four hits off Richardson...Bosma's single in the bottom of the third, a triple by Alyssa Haak in the fourth frame and a pair of singles by den Hoed.
Odle, the Nanny Goats' No. 9 hitter in the line-up, had three of Pateros's six hits off hurler Hilari Bosma. The southpaw pitcher went the distance for Sunnyside Christian, fanning six and walking only three.
Last Saturday's season-ending loss to Pateros leaves Sunnyside Christian with an overall record of 13-7.