Cardinal softball team advances to Bi-Districts versus Cashmere
The sleepy bats woke up just in time.
With Chelsea Hamby going 2-for-2 and driving in four runs and Jordan Soliday driving in three more with a 3-for-4 day at the plate, plus pitching a complete game, Medical Lake earned a 15-6 district playoff win over Kettle Falls last Saturday at Lakeside High School in Suncrest.
Medical Lake lost its opening game 7-1 to Riverside (16-6) Saturday and had to have a victory later in the afternoon to advance.
Last Tuesday, Medical Lake opened the postseason with a 10-0 whitewash of Newport in which Soliday and Shelby Pavao combined on a two-hitter and used timely hitting for the win. Rachel Stanfill had two hits, including a double.
The Cards (16-7) earned an 11 a.m. meeting with the second place team from the Caribou Trail League, Cashmere (13-9) this Saturday at Central Valley High School in the Bi-District playoffs.
“In the first game against Riverside our team batting average was .167,” Medical Lake head coach Tim Blakely said. “With a little pep talk we came through with a batting average of .406 the second game.”
Besides Hamby and Soliday, the Cardinals got other solid hitting performances from Glori Cheevers who had three hits, two of them doubles, good for 3 RBI. Alex Steinmetz had one hit, “But it was a big hit,” Blakely said of her 2 RBI effort.
Following the Riverside game, Blakely had what he called a “brief conversation” with his players and instructed them “to let that one go.” Medical Lake responded and scored in four out of the six innings played.
“Again, the bottom of our lineup was able to get on by whatever means whether it be a walk, hit-by-pitch,” Blakely said. “Ninety percent of our kids who were walked or hit by a pitch scored.”
Soliday, who was pitching her second game of the day, ended the game with 11 strikeouts. In the opener versus the Rams she had another 10.
“Comparatively speaking the mound work was the same,” Blakely said. “Our bats just did not come through.”
Medical Lake got just four hits off of Rams’ pitcher Keelin Hunt who struck out nine. Hamby had two of those hits.
As for Cashmere, “That Caribou (Trail) League they do play the small ball,” Blakely said. “It’s one of the things we’re really going to have to concentrate on this weekend.”
Playing solid defense is the key, and that starts at catcher where Kayla Pruitt hopefully returns after an injury. Then it’s playing clean and error-free play on the left side of the infield, Blakely said.
Paul Delaney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.