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1B Lady Knights win season opener against 2A G'view

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Sunnyside Christian's Julie Long scores the first run of the game for the Lady Knights with a slide at home in the bottom of the fifth inning. Fielding the throw at home is Grandview catcher Chelsea McNabb.

The Long sisters, senior Julie and sophomore Katie, went a combined 5-for-10 at the plate yesterday afternoon to spearhead Sunnyside Christian's 13-7 victory over the Grandview Lady Greyhounds fastpitch softball team.

Thursday's non-league game against the 1B Lady Knights and 2A Grandview was the season opener for both clubs.

Besides the Long sisters banging out five hits, Sunnyside Christian got a 2-for-2 offensive performance from senior Ashley Haak. One of her hits was a two-run double.

Haak also went the distance for Sunnyside Christian from atop the pitching rubber, scattering eight hits while fanning three and walking only two.

"Ashley pretty much went right at Grandview's batters," said SCHS Coach Sandy Harris. "She was in attack mode.

"She usually throws a pretty good change-up, but yesterday she was having trouble throwing it for a strike. Other than that, she did a pretty good job," said Harris.

Grandview countered with hurler Ashley Van Tress, who threw all but the last two-third's of the sixth inning. Van Tress got touched for seven hits before getting yanked in the sixth, walking five along the way while setting four Lady Knights down on strikes.

The Lady Greyhounds took the early lead in the game with a two-run uprising in the top of the first. Chelsea McNabb and Rikki Verduzco each had RBI singles in the frame.

Sunnyside Christian was blanked through the first four innings, but countered with two runs of its own in the bottom half of the fifth to square the game at 2-all, thanks mostly to a bit of sloppy play on the part of the 'Hounds. Julie Long led off the fifth with a single, stole second and then moved up to third on the ensuing overthrow by the catcher McNabb. A dropped third strike on the next batter, Katie Long, forced McNabb to throw the runner out at first, but that allowed the runner at third to scamper home. Alyssa Haak then reached base for the Lady Knights with a single-base hit, and she quickly stole second. Haak was then able to race home with the tying run when a grounder put into play by freshman Makayla Morrow was fielded and thrown over the first baseman's head.

The tie was short-lived, as Grandview responded with two runs in the top of the sixth to regain the lead at 4-2. Van Tress, Verduzco and Jessica Hall each punched singles through the Lady Knights' defense to get the job done.

The game was socked away in the bottom half of the sixth, however, when the Lady Knights pushed 11 runs across the plate. Van Tress issued two free passes and allowed a bunt single by Janelle DeGroot and a sacrifice bunt by Grace den Hoed before yielding a two-run double to Julie Long. Van Tress got pulled from the pitching rubber at that point, but the reliever, Reyna, fared no better, as she gave up two more walks, hit three batters and allowed singles off the bats of the Long sisters and Ashley Haak.

Grandview was able to close the gap to 13-7 in the top of the seventh, thanks to a pair of hits, a walk and two Sunnyside Christian errors.

Van Tress and Verduzco each turned in a 2-for-4 effort at the plate in the losing cause.

Grandview returns to the softball diamond this coming Saturday at Othello.

Sunnyside Christian is scheduled to host a non-league doubleheader against visiting Naches Valley next Tuesday, March 23.

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