Cheney pounds out 39 hits against Prosser, Clarkston doubleheader
By JOHN McCALLUM
If Cheney softball head coach Gary Blake was the man with lots of questions about his team last week, this week he’s the man with the ear-to-ear smile.
The Lady Hawks opened 2013 with a three-game road winning streak, banging out a total of 39 hits and committing seven errors in 21 total innings by downing Prosser and sweeping Clarkston. While maybe not answering all of his questions, the wins certainly gave Blake some comfort.
“Especially after losing six senior starters, you’re always anxious to see what you have,” he said. “I’m pretty pleased.”
Julia Boyd gave the Lady Hawks the lead at Prosser Thursday with a solo home run in her first varsity at bat in the second inning. Cheney followed with four in the third on RBI singles from Brenna Loucks and Amy Anderson, followed by a 2 RBI single from Katie Bethel to go up 5-0 en route to the 7-3 win.
Bailey Towey (1-0) got the win on the mound, giving up three runs on eight hits while walking or hitting no one and striking out four. Anderson and Bethel both went 2 for 4 to lead Cheney’s eight hit attack.
The Lady Hawks built an 8-0 lead in game one Saturday in Clarkston, getting RBI singles from Anderson and Bethel in a three-run second and an RBI double from Megan McDowell and RBI singles by Boyd, Hanson and Loucks in a four-run fourth for a 10-5 win. Cheney pounded out 19 hits, with Anderson, Bethel and Shay Turner all going 3 for 5 and McDowell 2 for 4.
“I played all 12 players and everybody had at least one hit,” Blake said.
McDowell (1-0) got the win, giving up five runs on seven hits, walking six but striking out nine.
Game two with the Bantams was a little tighter as Cheney fell behind 5-2 after two and entered the sixth trailing 6-3. But in that sixth the Lady Hawks rallied, getting a 2 RBI single up the middle by Towey, tying the game on Bethel’s RBI single and taking the lead on Adrianna Suiter’s sacrifice fly to right-center scoring Bethel.
Boyd (1-0) made the lead stick over the last two innings to earn the win, going the distance while giving up six runs on 11 hits, walking four and striking out six. Turner was 3 for 4 at the plate, with Suiter 2 for 3 and Anderson and Towey both 2 for 4.
“When you don’t play your best game and still end up with a ‘W’, it’s a nice start to the season,” Blake said.
Cheney hopes to continue that nice start with a pair of games this week, traveling to West Valley Wednesday and taking on Lakeland of Idaho in non-league action for the home opener Thursday.
John McCallum can be reached at email@example.com.