KLICKITAT - The Sunnyside Christian girls softball team, prior to ever taking the field this spring, figured on having a pretty good season.
And why not? The Lady Knights were expecting back several key starters from 2009, several girls who showed a lot of promise last year and a freshman who has all the makings of a future star.
All of those elements have come into play in 2010, especially so yesterday, when Sunnyside Christian opened its 1B league schedule with a pair of 7-1 and 16-2 thrashings of the Klickitat Vandals.
Tuesday's two victories improved the Lady Knights' overall record on the season to 8-1.
In yesterday's opener on the Vandals' home field, it was the duo of veteran hurler Ashley Haak and freshman phenom Makayla Morrow who carried the work load in the 7-1 win.
Haak yielded just two hits from the pitching rubber, both coming in the bottom of the second when Klickitat scored its one and only run. A base hit by Sarah Ingeloo started the brief rally for the Vandals. She eventually scored when Tea Spino slapped another single off Haak.
From there, though, it was all Haak as she didn't allow another base knock in the final five innings of play. Along the way, Haak fanned six while walking only one.
As it turned out, Haak got all the offensive support she would need from the underclassman Morrow. The freshman ended up just one homer short from hitting for the cycle. Morrow singled, doubled and came through with an RBI triple in the top of the fourth, the frame the Lady Knights pushed across three runs to sock the game away.
Sunnyside Christian actually scored all the runs it would need in game one in the top of the third. Analisa Van Oostrum and Janelle DeGroot both walked to open the inning, each moving up a base on a passed ball. Julie Long then delivered a single to score Van Oostrum, with DeGroot scampering home when Klickitat's pitcher, Curtis, attempted a pick-off move.
Besides Morrow's 3-for-4 performance at the plate, Van Oostrum turned in a 2-for-3 effort in game one, driving in a run and scoring twice in the process.
In the twin bill finale the Lady Knights rocketed 10 hits off the pitcher Spino to win going away, 16-2. Alyssa Haak and Grace den Hoed were the offensive leaders for the winners, as Haak went 3-for-6, all singles, and den Hoed was 3-for-4 with an RBI.
Sunnyside Christian was up by an 8-2 count heading into its last at-bat in the top of the seventh. An eight-run explosion, thanks to six free passes via base-on-balls and hits by Danika DeGroot and Alyssa Haak, pushed the contest out of reach for the Vandals, however.
The freshman Morrow, getting the nod to take the pitching rubber in game two, never allowed the Vandals to mount a threat of any kind. She scattered five hits enroute to striking out a dozen batters and walking only three in going the distance.
Sunnyside Christian returns to the diamond next Tuesday, April 27, with a non-league doubleheader at Mabton.