Cheney High’s softball team played perhaps their best overall game last Tuesday in a 10-0 win over visiting Clarkston.
Megan McDowell hurled a no-hitter against the Bantams, allowing just three walks while striking out six. Head coach Gary Blake said the sophomore demonstrated good control of her pitches, throwing 68 percent first pitch strikes and was pretty much always ahead in the count.
“It makes your pitches all that more effective,” Blake said.
Offensively the Lady Hawks got all they needed in a five-run second inning, scoring on RBI singles from Katie Bethel, Bailey Towey and Amy Anderson along with an RBI double by Shay Turner and a bases loaded walk to McDowell. Cheney tacked on four more in the third, getting a 2 RBI double from Anderson, an RBI single from Cheyenne Wright and RBI ground out from Cheyenne Hanson.
Anderson’s third hit of the day, and RBI single in the fifth scoring Hanson, ended the game on the 10-run rule. Besides on the mound and at the plate, going 10 for 24 (.416), the Lady Hawks played well in the field, committing just one error and that coming on the first batter of the game.
“And then we played errorless after that,” Blake said. “They played a good, solid game overall.”
That effort didn’t travel north with the Lady Hawks on Saturday to Deer Park. Cheney committed seven errors in the doubleheader, and ran into a pitching buzz saw named Kylie Sweeney.
Sweeney, a freshman who Blake is familiar with through club ball, allowed nine Cheney hits in pitching both games of the doubleheader, striking out 19, walking one and hitting two batters in the Stags 4-0 and 11-0 wins. Overall Cheney was just 9 for 53, hitting an uncharacteristic .170 for the two games.
“She’s probably the best 14-year-old pitcher in Spokane right now,” Blake said of Sweeney.
Julie Boyd took the loss in game one, giving up four runs on six hits while striking out five but walking or hitting no one. McDowell got the loss in game two, giving up nine runs on six hits while walking three and hitting three, with Boyd giving up two runs in one-third of an inning’s work in the sixth.
Cheney committed three errors in game two, and four in game one, Blake said, that came at times allowing innings to continue.
Despite going 1-2 the Lady Hawks moved up in the Great Northern League standings, vaulting over Clarkston into fourth place at 6-8, 7-8 overall. Cheney has one game this week, Tuesday at home against East Valley (sixth, 3-7, 4-8), but finishes the regular season with three games, April 30 against league-leading Colville (12-0, 13-1) and May 4’s doubleheader with last place, winless Pullman.
Blake said if they can win three of the final four they should be able to lock up the No. 4 playoff seed, earning a home game in the first round.
John McCallum can be reached at email@example.com.