Medical Lake softball gets into playoffs
The Medical Lake Cardinals’ softball team made the best of limited offense in winning two of three games to finish out the 2014 Northeast A League regular season in third place.
First, the Cards got a stellar performance from a pair of pitchers — Jordan Soliday and Shelby Pavao — who combined for a no-hitter in a 15-0 crushing of Chewelah last Tuesday at home on Senior Night.
Then last Saturday Medical Lake (12-6 NEA, 14-6 overall), Soliday’s pitching and the Cheevers’ sisters batting helped earn the Cards a crucial split against Riverside (14-4, 15-5) winning 6-4 and losing 6-3.
Medical Lake met Newport in a loser-out contest this past Tuesday at home with the winner facing Riverside (15-5) this Saturday at Lakeside in an NEA District playoff second-round game. The top-three teams go to Bi-Districts the following week at Central Valley in Spokane.
“Not a lot of hits but we jumped out on them 2-0 right out of the chute,” head coach Tim Blakely said. ”It’s kind of been our MO to wait until the fourth or fifth inning to get runs.”
Soliday singled, and Glori Cheevers advanced Soliday on a fielder’s choice. Chelsea Hamby moved the runners on a sacrifice fly and both scored on a single from Claire Dormaier.
Riverside jumped ahead 3-2 before the Cardinals got a pair of runs in the fifth and led 4-3.
“The top of the lineup fired us up,” Blakely said. With Soliday on base Hailey Cheevers tripled and then scored on sister, Glori’s sac fly. “We went in two’s,” Blakely added.
Riverside tied it at 4-4 in the bottom of the sixth, but in the top of the seventh the bottom of the order provided two huge insurance runs for ML.
Holly Marsh got her first varsity base hit of the season – a bunt single – followed by Kaitlyn Pruitt getting hit by a pitch. After a Soliday fly out, a Hailey Cheevers’ single scored Marsh and Glori Cheevers’ deep fly to center pushed across an insurance run by Pruitt
Soliday pitched the opener striking out 10 and giving up four hits.
“It was kind of funny, the Riverside coach comes to me between games and asked me ‘Hey, where’d she come from?’” Blakely said referring to Soliday, who was coming off an injury the last time the two met. The senior transfer from Liberty did pitch two innings of an 8-0 Rams’ rout.
“I was really proud of our kids in that first game,” Blakely said. “We had some kids that were injured
In game two, Riverside’s Keelin Hunt stifled the Cards, limiting them to just three hits. “The timely hitting we had in the first game kind of went to sleep in the second game,” Blakely said.
The only notable offense was Hailey Cheevers’ two-run home run in the sixth.
Medical Lake rolled past Chewelah last Tuesday making the most out of skimpy offensive numbers.
The Cardinals were limited to just six hits but took advantage of five Chewelah errors.
“We were able to put the bat on the ball and with them booting it around a little bit, some walks and base hits together we were able to keep ‘em going,” Blakely said.
Medical Lake blew the game open with a 12-run third. Glori Cheevers and Alex Steinmetz each had doubles while Rachel Stanfill served up three RBI as did Glori Cheevers.
Paul Delaney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.