Colville blasts Lakeside in battle for first

Riverside, Freeman on tap this weekIn a battle for first place in the Northeast A League fast-pitch softball race, Lakeside blinked first back on April 17 at Vaagen Park.Defending NEA champion Colville scored early and often in posting a 10-3 win over Lakeside (7-1, 8-1).The Indians (9-0, 11-2) dominated this one, collecting 13 hits and hitting a pair of home runs. Colville made it a 3-0 week with a 4-1, 12-0 sweep of visiting Newport (1-6, 3-6) on Friday.THIS WEEKColville hosted Riverside on Tuesday and will travel to Freeman on Friday for a doubleheader. The first game gets underway at 3 p.m.LAKESIDE RECAPColville put the pressure on Lakeside from the outset. The Indians plated three runs in the bottom of the first inning and never looked back.The Indians plated another run in the third, three more in the fourth and tacked on three more in the sixth inning.“I couldn’t have asked for more from our hitters,” Colville head coach Mandy Sumner said of the Indians’ offense. “We have been working hard on timing and focus drills and it showed against Lakeside.“I thought those three runs in the first inning sent a huge message…we are ready to play right out of the gate.”While the Indians were pretty much doing what they wanted—when they wanted to—against Lakeside, the CHS defense was shaky at times.Rogers sharp“Maybe too much adrenaline,” Sumner said of some uncharacteristic miscues. “But I’ll take that problem any day over apathetic play. If we make mistakes because we are trying too hard, then we can always adjust.”Senior right-hander Jo Rodgers tossed a five-hitter against Lakeside’s always dangerous offense. She was also 2-3 at the plate with a pair of RBIs.Offensively, seven of Colville’s nine players hit safely. Catcher Jammie Madonna led the Indians with three hits, including a home run and a double (two RBIs). Sophomore April Hinds turned in a monster game with a single, double, home run and five RBIs. McKenna Cabbage was 2-3.“I was just really impressed with the way we hit the ball,” Sumner said. “We have to attack Lakeside with that kind of focus and ferocity every time we play them.”NEWPORT RECAPColville took awhile to figure out lanky left-hander Alex Douglas in the opener. Newport led 1-0 in the fifth before the Indians struck for two runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth. CHS collected nine hits off Douglas.“We made Douglas look really good in that first game,” Sumner said. “She is skilled, but we weren’t making her work hard enough. We weren’t very patient at the plate…swinging at too many balls off the plate.”Colville was finally able to put the ball in play with their short game against Douglas and a weak Newport infield. The Grizzlies booted it around and threw it around in the fifth and sixth innings. “If they had a few more strong players in their infield, that team would go far,” Sumner said. Hitting safely for Colville were Tasji Urhausen (two singles), April Hinds (2-3 and a double), Jessica Wittmeyer, Rogers, Cassie Cote, Cabbage and Taylor Kellum. Cote got Colville on the board in the fifth inning after singling on a 1-2 count. Cabbage followed with a perfect bunt that Douglas fielded and promptly threw into right-field. Cote scored on the play and Cabbage also came around to score.In the sixth, Hinds, Cabbage and Kellum all conspired offensively to help Colville score two more Colville runs. Rogers was as good as she’s been all season long (11 strikeouts).Easy winIn game two, Colville scored 12 runs on eight hits. The offense was led by Jessica Wittmeyer’s two home runs.“It’s tough to have a leadoff with speed and home run capability,” Sumner said of Wittmeyer. And unlike the first game, the Indians got aboard five times on walks or hit by pitch. “We started showing some discipline at the plate,” Sumner pointed out. “And as the pitch count went up for Douglas, so did her mistakes.“We did a good job of laying down our bunts and putting pressure on their defense.”Madonna went 2-2 and Cabbage had a double. Urhausen, Rogers, and Hinds all had singles. Rogers and Cabbage (fourth inning) combined on a two-hitter.