Solid pitching, hitting lead Cards
Medical Lake gets most out of bats in softball sweep of Chewelah
The bats are blazing hot lately, but Medical Lake softball pitching has been a match.
The Cardinals rolled to a pair of big Northeast A League wins 21-4 and 20-9 last Saturday at Chewelah, improving to 5-1 in NEA play, 6-1 overall in their only games scheduled over spring break.
After the Cardinals quickly fell behind 3-0 when the Cougars jumped on starter Shelby Pavao for a pair of doubles, ML’s senior pitcher toughened up. “Our shining moments, you gotta’ start with Shelby Pavao,” head coach Tim Blakely said.
Over the next six innings Pavao threw just 77 pitches, almost 80 percent strikes. “She’s been really consistent for us,” Blakely said. Pavao scattered just five hits.
The slow start gave way to a strong finish in which Medical Lake scored six runs in the fourth, three in the fifth and nine in the sixth. Freshman Glori Cheevers’ bases-loaded line-drive triple in the sixth was a key hit, ML’s lone extra-base hit in the opener.
Jordan Soliday was 3-for-5 and scored four times. Medical Lake had nine stolen bases in the first game with Hailey Cheevers getting five of those.
Claire Dormaier made a notable defensive play on a line drive shot. “She isn’t very tall to begin with but she got up and snagged it so it was a heck of a play,” Blakely said.
In the second game, Medical Lake carried over the offensive surge that powered them late in the opener, scoring five runs in their first at bat and adding five more in the third and four in the fourth to lead 17-1 at one point. The Cardinals did all that damage on just eight hits. Chelsea Hamby had three hits in five at bats and a pair of RBIs. Shelby Pavao took to the outfield, giving up the pitching duties to Soliday and contributed another three RBIs.
Hailey Cheevers scored four times, with sister Glori Cheevers and Taylor Pavao adding three runs scored.
“We were finally able to get Jordyn Soliday on the mound,” and the senior gave up just one hit, striking out three, Blakely said. “She threw two innings for us, she said she felt fine.”
Hamby came on in the third in relief, striking out four. “She showed us some pretty good velocity,” Blakely said. “We’re probably going to be using these other pitchers to complement Shelby.”
On a day where it was largely expected to be cold and wet, the Cardinals found a window of blue skies, until the trip home, when it began to sprinkle on the bus windshield, Blakely said.
Next is a game Tuesday at home versus Riverside (3-3, 3-5) starting at 4 p.m., followed by a Wednesday, April 16 game at Lakeside, also at 4 p.m.
Paul Delaney can be reached at email@example.com.