A split would
be good enough
Colville High (12-0, 14-2) needs at least a split of Thursdayâ€™s crucial Northeast A League fast-pitch softball doubleheader at Nine Mile Falls (Lakeside) to annex a second straight league championship. The twin-bill marks the final league games for both schools before the post-season gets underway on Tuesday, May 8 with loser-out games between the NEA third, fourth, fifth and sixth place teams.
Colville and Lakeside have already assured themselves of opening round byes into the District 7 1A Tournament that will be held at the home of the league champion.
The Indians downed Lakeside 10-3 at home back on April 17.
The opener on Thursday gets started at 3:30 p.m.
Indians havenâ€™t won at Nine Mile Falls
There is plenty riding on Thursdayâ€™s rivalry games between CHS and Lakeside. For one thing, itâ€™s been a long time since the Indians have won at Lakeside (10-1, 11-1). Last season, Colville won both league and district titles, but the Eagles won four of six meetings.
On Tuesday, Colville was at Chewelah for a single game with the cellar-dwelling Cougars (0-11, 1-13).
â€śI never like looking past a team (Chewelah on Tuesday), so we will focus on that game first to clean up anything for Thursday,â€ť CHS coach Mandy Sumner said on Monday. â€śBut it will come down to if we can split with Lakeside. If we can do that, we will win a league championship.
â€śIf we sweep, we go undefeated. If Lakeside sweeps us, we are second. Itâ€™s as simple as that.â€ť
Sumner said the Indians have never beaten Lakeside on their home turf. That should provide additional incentive besides the fact that thereâ€™s a league championship and host role for the district tournament on the line.
â€śThis Lakeside team will come out with more fire than they did at Colville,â€ť Sumner promised. â€śI expect to see more of their short game, more aggressive base-running and a more controlled Lakeside pitcher. We had better be ready.
â€śIf we can change history (and win at Lakeside), we will face them the next two times at our house for the district and regional tournaments. We have a lot to prove on Thursday. Practices this week will be about reminding the girls of what they have worked for.â€ť
Sumner says her team is playing well right now. That needs to continue this week.
â€śWe are on an upswing right nowâ€¦we still havenâ€™t peaked, but this week would be a great time for that. There are enough girls on this team that have a perpetual bone to pick with Lakeside. I think that will make us go in hungry and motivated against them. They beat us four out of six last season. Thatâ€™s still pretty fresh in my playersâ€™ minds.â€ť
Colville had an easy time of it in NEA play last week. The Indians swept Freeman (3-7, 3-7) 15-0, 22-0 last Friday on the road and blanked Riverside (6-6, 7-7) 10-0 back on April 24.
In the rout of Riverside, senior Jo Rogers and sophomore McKenna Cabbage combined on a no-hitter. Cabbage fanned seven of the 11 batters she faced.
â€śMcKenna was able to pitch more than Jo,â€ť Sumner said, â€śbecause Jo has been under the weather. In an effort to allow her to recover, McKenna has really stepped in and helped.â€ť
Indians get plenty of playing time against hapless Freeman
CHS collected 16 hits in the six-inning game. Cassie Cote and Tasji Urhausen led the attack with three for four efforts at the plate.
In the wins at hapless Freeman, Colville was able to get field time for 17 players.
In the opener, Colville collected 14 hits, while Colville hurlers combined on a no-hitter (Rogers, Cabbage and Reed). The trio combined for seven strikeouts.
Freeman committed five errors.
Urhausen homered in the opener and shortstop Taylor Kellum led CHS with three hits. Cote and Jessie Wittmeyer had two hits apiece. Leanna Carr doubled.
Catcher Jammie Madonna was walked three times.
â€śEven if some of the innings werenâ€™t realistic, we always focus on ways to stay sharp and work on the small things that can make a big difference,â€ť Sumner said. â€śWe have to do that to stay strong and sharp this week.â€ť
In game two at Freeman, Colville collected 13 hits. Madonna went three for four with a triple. Rylee Wittmeyer had three doubles.
Cabbage pitched three innings and Reed finished up (two innings).
CHS 325 50---15 14 0
FHS 000 00-- 0 0 5
Rogers, Cabbage (3), Reed (5) and Madonna. Malloy, Schultz (5) and Barns. Wâ€”Rogers. Lâ€”Malloy.
HITS: Colvilleâ€”Urhausen, Rogers, Madonna, Hinds, Carr, Cabbage, J. Wittmeyer 2, Cote 2, Kellum 3. 2Bâ€”Carr. HRâ€”Urhausen.
CHS 904 63â€”22 14 0
FHS 000 00-- 0 2 7
Cabbage, Reed (4) and Madonna. Smith, Malloy, Sorensen (4) and Jackson. Wâ€”Cabbage. Lâ€”Malloy.
HITS: Colvilleâ€”J. Wittmeyer, Urhausen, Baughn, Carr, Cabbage, Kellum 2, R. Wittmeyer 3, Madonna 4. 2Bâ€”R. Wittmeyer 3. 3Bâ€”Madonna. HRâ€”Urhausen.
RHS 000 000â€”0 0 3
CHS 201 025â€”10 16 1
K. Hunt and J. Hunt. Rogers, Cabbage (3) and Madonna. Wâ€”Cabbage. Lâ€”K. Hunt.
HITS: Riversideâ€”none. Colvilleâ€”J. Wittmeyer, Urhausen 3, Madonna 2, Heines 2, Baughn, Cote 3, Kellum 2. 2Bâ€”Madonna, Cote.