Medical Lake rebounds from losses, sweeps Kettle Falls
Medical Lake pitcher Jordan Soliday squeezes a seventh-inning pop-up in her glove and looks back at a Kettle Falls runner at third in last Saturday's double header opener won by the Cardinals 5-4.
Hitting did the trick one game and pitching the next with the result being Medical Lake sweeping a softball doubleheader at home against Kettle Falls and staying very relevant in the Northeast A League playoff picture.
The Cardinals (7-3 NEA, 8-3 overall) rolled over the Bulldogs (6-5, 7-5) 13-5, clubbing 15 hits including a pair of doubles and a home run in game two Saturday. That came after using two clutch fly outs to stymie the visitors, stranding the tying run at third in a 5-4 ML win.
The wins were crucial to Medical Lake's push for a high seed in the playoffs after suffering losses earlier in the week, 8-0 at home to Riverside (7-2, 8-2) and on the road at Lakeside (9-0, 9-0), 9-8 in 10 innings.
"Great defense, great pitching," head coach Tim Blakely said to sum up the nail-biting opener versus Kettle Falls. Jordan Soliday struck out 11 and issued just a single walk. It was Soliday's second outing of the week following the loss at Lakeside Wednesday. "She's been a rock out there," Blakely said.
Hailey Cheevers socked a pair of doubles in the opener and Alex Steinmetz scored the game winning run on an RBI single from Soliday.
Cheevers continued her strong hitting in the second game going 4-for-5 with a home run, a double and knocking in four runs. Sister, Glori Cheevers, went 4-for-4. Hailey Cheevers' homer was part of a five-run second. The Cards scored three in the third and five more in the fourth to lead 13-4.
The bottom of the batting order was impressive, their coach said. Claire Dormaier had a hit, Taylor Pavao had a pair of hits and Shelby Pavao another two hits hitting ninth. "Shelby's been doing real well for us in the nine-hole," Blakely said.
At Suncrest last Wed-nesday, Lakeside scored their winning run when Medical Lake was just a "half step late" making a play in the 10th Blakely said, ending the game that was being played with a Texas Tiebreaker where the inning starts with a runner on second.
The Cards led 2-1 through the third, fell behind 4-2 and scored four in the fifth to regain the lead 6-4. The Eagles would tie it with a pair in their half of the fifth. Two scoreless innings led to the ninth where ML went ahead on Rachel Stanfill's run. Stanfill and Hailey Cheevers each hit home runs and Soliday went 3-for-6. Stanfill had three RBIs.
" I don't know if Lakeside has ever been challenged that way, at least this season, " Blakely said.
Against Riverside, the Cards were limited to just two hits. "We didn't bring our A-game to the field that day," Blakely said.
Weather permitting, the Cardinals were at Newport (3-7, 3-7) this past Tuesday and are home against Freeman Friday for a 3 p.m. doubleheader.
Paul Delaney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.