Rogers sharp as Indians win three of four to open season

Weather permitting, Indiansslated to open NEAShort-handed for their first week of action in a wet, cool spring, Colville High nonetheless was able to win three of four non-league games last week to get the 2012 softball season underway.In their opener last Wednesday at Vaagen Park against visiting West Valley, the Indians fell behind 5-0 before battling back to post a 6-5 win.One day later on a long bus ride for one five-inning game, the Indians blasted Omak of the Caribou-Trail League, 15-2.On Saturday against traditional Class 2A power Othello, the Indians split a pair at Vaagen Park, dropping the opener 4-1 after giving up four runs in the first inning. CHS bounced back for a 3-0 win in the second game.“After an interesting spring, to say the least, we were able to get in four games in four days under our belts,” CHS head coach Mandy Sumner said of a wild first week for CHS softball.Three starters out of the line-up last weekIt didn’t help any that Sumner and the Indians were missing three starters for one reason or another last week.“We had a lot of new faces in new positions,” she said. “It was a fun week to see what the girls could do. I’m proud of the way we responded to some adversity.”WEST VALLEYTrailing 5-0 after surrendering two runs in the first inning, one in the second and two in the third, Colville chipped away behind senior right-hander Jo Rogers.The Indians plated one run in the third and fourth innings and two in the sixth before plating two more in the seventh to pick up the win.“That may have been one of the biggest victories--and moral victories that I have had,” Sumner said. “We were down three starters and down five runs.”Sumner said that Rogers was the only player who was in the line-up in a spot where they had varsity experience. A scant two hours before the game, Sumner had to change most of her line-up because of the off-field issues. “We were the comeback kids,” she said. “I am very proud of my youngsters.”Rogers, this week’s Benchwarmer’s Athlete of the Week, was resilient. The senior scattered eight hits. She struck out nine and didn’t walk a batter. Solo shotCatcher Jammie Madonna had a pair of hits (a double and a solo home run) and second baseman Leanna Carr doubled in Colville’s nine hit attack. Rogers collected three hits, including a double.Jessi Wittmeyer had the game-winning, two-out RBI in the bottom of the seventh that sealed an improbable win.Donielle Howell kept the late rally going with a great nine pitch at bat that finally garnered a walk and the tying run in the seventh. Also hitting safely were Chloe Baughn, Wittmeyer and McKenna Cabbage.OMAK RECAPColville sucked up a lot of valuable diesel in a long bus ride to Omak that included only five innings of softball. Colville plated nine runs in the fourth inning and that was that. Rogers was solid once again in the circle, going the first four innings and striking out five. She surrendered two hits. Cabbage closed the fifth.OTHELLO RECAP Othello got off fast, scoring four runs off Rogers in the top of the first inning.The Indians didn’t help their cause any with three costly errors in the game.Colville scored its lone run in the third inning after Cabbage doubled and Carr plated the sophomore with an RBI single to rightfield.Colville didn’t do itself any favors with some shoddy base-running. “We made some costly base-running errors,” Sumner admitted. “Some of them were coach induced.”The Indians stranded six baserunners.Rogers and the Colville defense were sharp after that shaky first inning. Othello went in order the final six innings.“We shouldn’t have lost that one,” Sumner said. “We out-hit them, we out-played them and we out-ran them. But we made too many errors.”Rogers struck out six and tossed a two-hitter. She was also stellar defensively with seven put-outs.Solid at shortstopCabbage picked up two hits in the Indians’ seven-hit attack. The lanky Cabbage also played solidly at shortstop. Baughn and Emily Poling each had a hit. Poling’s safety was her first as a member of the varsity.Colville plated all the runs they would need in the first inning of the second game. Madonna and Rogers both went Yard, accounting for all three of Colville’s runs via the home run. Rogers also singled and doubled. Baughn added a pair of singles and Jessi Wittmeyer also singled.Rogers struck out nine and scattered six Othello hits.THIS WEEKColville was scheduled to travel to Newport on Tuesday for a Northeast A League doubleheader. Colville will be at Riverside on Thursday for another NEA doubleheader (3 p.m.).