Indians lose regional title game to Lakeside

Colville opens State 1A softball against HoquiamColville High (20-3), after dominating Lakeside all season long, fell to their Northeast A League nemesis 7-5 last Saturday afternoon in the District 6-7 regional title game at Vaagen Park in Colville.The Indians and Eagles both advance to the State 1A Tournament Friday and Saturday at the Columbia Playfields in Richland. Okanogan and Cascade also advanced to State from the typically weak Caribou-Trail League. Colville will open the double elimination tournament on Friday at noon against Hoquiam. Lakeside, despite its top seed, looks to be in the tougher of the two brackets. The Eagles will open against Riverview at 10 a.m. on Friday.Lakeside looks to be in the tougher of the two bracketsLHS has defending State 1A champion Connell, and perennial 1A powers Montesano and Castle Rock in their upper bracket.“Lakeside is tough,” Colville head coach Mandy Sumner said of the Nine Mile Falls club. “But they are going to need the tournament of their lives to make it up through (their bracket).”That fact certainly hasn’t been lost on a CHS coaching staff that realizes the Indians will have to shore up some issues that cropped up on Saturday in the Lakeside loss.“The Hoquiam game will be tough for us,” CHS Sumner added. “They have been playing well. I like our chances there, but we need to shore up our defense.”Colville booted it around with alacrity in the regional tournament against Okanogan (17-0 CHS win) and Lakeside. “You know what we will be focusing on this week in practice,” Sumner added. “We are gunning for a state championship. If we play to our potential, we have a great shot. But we need to clean up some things.”Certainly, Colville has the veteran line-up to make a deep run.“We have girls who have been there,” Sumner said. “They aren’t intimidated or scared of anyone. We know we are capable of beating any team in the field.“But it’s back to study hall this week. Our pitching and defense must be tougher going into the state tournament.”In addition to the veteran talent, Colville’s sophomores have been productive all season long--Wittmeyer, Cabbage and Hinds.“For their first year full-time on the varsity, they have done a great job and have been a huge part of this,” Sumner pointed out.In the regional tournament, Hinds was 4 for 6. Cabbage was 5 for 8 and Wittmeyer (4 for 6) blasted a pair of home runs.Colville senior right-hander Jo Rogers had a rough outing against Lakeside in the championship, giving up 11 hits, including a long two-run home run in the top of the seventh inning to Eagles’ freshman Madi Naccarato that decided it. Rogers didn’t get a whole lot of defensive support behind her (five errors).Colville never led in the finale against Lakeside after the Eagles loaded the bases in the top of the first and led 2-0 on a two-run single up the middle. Colville’s final out in the inning came at the plate.The Indians threatened in the bottom of the first inning with singles by second baseman April Hinds and Jammie Madonna with two out. But a pop-up ended the threat.In the top of the second inning, third baseman Tasji Urhausen made one of a handful of outstanding plays at the hot corner, taking a hard line drive on the short hop and throwing to first base from her knees to get the out.Colville got McKenna Cabbage, who opened the inning with a two-out walk and got all the way to third base on a steal and a Lakeside error. But a strikeout by Lakeside pitcher Vanessa Ahrendt ended another threat.Urhausen came up big again on defense in the top of the third when she snagged a smoked line drive and doubled off the Lakeside runner at second base.In the bottom of the third, Colville shortstop and lead-off hitter Taylor Kellum was aboard on a single and quickly stole second base. She came home on another Lakeside infield error and CHS trailed 2-1. Consecutive singles by Rogers and Madonna put runners aboard with two outs. But Ahrendt induced a pop-up and Lakeside escaped once again.In the top of the fifth, Leanna Carr turned in another stellar defensive play, taking away an extra base hit when the CHS junior right-fielder ranged to her right to backhand a hard-hit line drive that was heading for the gap and the centerfield fence.Two-out singleBut Lakeside continued to exert pressure on Rogers and the Colville defense. A bases loaded, two-out single plated two more runs and Colville trailed 4-1.Two more Colville errors conspired to plate another LHS run in the top of the sixth inning. Colville answered in the bottom of the sixth inning on a two out, two RBI single up the middle by first baseman McKenna Cabbage. Wittmeyer, one of the smallest players on the field, then chased Cabbage home with her second home run of the afternoon—a two-run shot over the leftfield fence that tied the game at 5-5.But Naccarato crashed her two-run home run over the leftfield fence in the top of the seventh and Lakeside got a little revenge over a Colville team that has pretty much owned them this season to date.In the opener against overmatched Okanogan, Colville plated two runs in the first inning when Hinds hit a two-out triple to the right-field fence and Madonna followed with a “No doubter” two-run home run over the centerfield fence.In the bottom of the second, DP Chloe Baughn hit her first home run of the season, a solo shot over the center-field fence.Wittmeyer’s two-run home run made it 5-0 and the Indians were off and running. A Hinds RBI single made it 6-0.Colville continued to pile it on in the bottom of the third inning. Cabbage led off with a single and Wittmeyer followed with an RBI single to make it 7-0. Urhausen laced a two-run single to make it 9-0 and the rout was on.RECAPLakekside downed Chelan 21-3 in their first game last Saturday in Colville. The Eagles blasted Cascade 14-2.Cascade scored 13 runs in the third inning on the way to an 18-0 rout of Newport and the third seed.STATE PAIRINGSIn opening round games Friday at Columbia Playfield in Richland, Okanogan will open against Montesano at 10 a.m. In other 10 a.m. openers, Meridian will oppose defending champion Connell and Cedar Park Christian will take on another pre-tourney favorite,Castle Rock. In noon games, Hoquiam will play Colvillle, Zillah will oppose Nooksack Valley, Cascade will play Orting and Lyden Christian will oppose Onalaska. The tournament championship will be decided at 2:30 pm. on Saturday.