It was a true team effort that got the Sunnyside Christian High School girls fastpitch softball team a victory against the visiting Kittitas Coyotes yesterday afternoon. But two of the Lady Knights really rose to the surface with their performances.
Sophomore Makayala Morrow continued her mastery of opponents from the pitching rubber, and senior Devi Knotts provided the bulk of the firepower at the plate for the Lady Knights.
The underclassman Morrow limited 2B Kittitas to just three hits in Thursday's game, which led to a convincing 11-1 win for the host Lady Knights. Morrow did issue three free passes to the Coyotes, but she more than made up for the walks by fanning 10 Kittitas batters.
The key to Morrow's success, said SCHS Coach Sandy Harris, was "really good control" over her four main pitches...a drop, a rise, a curve and her fastball.
Laura Schlenker, Harris' daughter and the team's assistant coach, calls the pitches for Morrow, and the result, said the head coach, was a mix that kept the Coyotes off-balance all game long.
The one run that Kittitas did plate against the Lady Knights came in the top of the third. A walk put a Coyote on base, a passed ball that got by catcher Danika DeGroot allowed the base runner to reach second and then the Coyote stole third. She then scored her team's lone run on an out recorded by Sunnyside Christian.
Offensively for the winners yesterday, the senior Knotts had her way against the two pitchers that Kittitas used...Hayes and Nelson. She socked a two-run homer over the head of the left fielder in the bottom of the fourth, which helped increase the Lady Knights' lead in that frame to 10-1. Knotts then added an RBI triple in the fifth to push Sunnyside Christian's lead to 11-1, which brought an end to the game because of the 10-run mercy rule.
Knotts is coming off a junior season that was cut short because of an ankle injury. Harris said she's counting on the senior to deliver big moments, and extra base hits, at the plate the rest of this spring.
"She's got the swing for it. Devi seems very focused this year," said Harris.
The other four hits the Lady Knights came up with against Kittitas Thursday afternoon were provided by senior Analisa VanOostrum, 2-for-4 with three runs scored; junior Grace den Hoed, a double in the second inning; and senior Janelle DeGroot, a double in the third inning.
"All aspects of the game yesterday - pitching, hitting, base running, even our defense, we committed no errors - it was there. We played very well," said Harris.
Sunnyside Christian, now 2-0 in 1B league play and 4-2 overall, will take a break from the diamond over spring break. Harris said she's scheduled a few practices, but for the most part the team will enjoy the off days until its next scheduled game, which is Tuesday, April 12, at home against the 1A Mabton Vikings.