Bandits convincing in Liberty Lake sweep
Wins keep West Plains in second place in Spokane Girls Fastpitch Softball Association's 14U Division
Taylor John goes into her delivery in the second inning of the West Plains Bandits' 12-4 game one win over the Liberty Lake Lightning.
The West Plains Bandits 14U softball team ran their Spokane Girls Fastpitch Softball Association league mark to 8-2, 12-3 overall with a sweep of the Liberty Lake Lightning Monday evening in Medical Lake. The Bandits scored in crooked numbers in each inning to down Liberty Lake 12-4 in game one, shortened to four innings via the 90-minute, doubleheader game one time limit, and scored five runs in the top of the seventh to seal a 12-3 win in game two.
The Bandits got the runs they needed in the first inning of game one, scoring on a line-drive triple by Glori Cheevers, who then stole home on a dropped third strike to Kaitlyn Kinzel, followed by an RBI single by Taylor Pavao, RBI triple by Sarah Mayer and a pop-up double by Lexi Gonzalez for a 5-0 lead.
Liberty Lake got four runs back in the top of the second against Bandits' starter Taylor John, but her teammates gave her a four-run cushion with three runs in the bottom of the frame on a two-RBI double by Kinzel and ground-rule double by Mayer scoring Hannah Petek. The Bandits added four more in the third on RBI singles from Rachel Barsness and Mayer along with a fielder's choice from Petek and groundout by Pavao.
In game two Lightning errors and an RBI single by Gonzalez gave the Bandits a 3-0 lead in the top of the first. They added three more in the third and one in the fifth before blowing the game open in the seventh on RBI triples by Barsness and Cheevers, an RBI groundout by Kinzel and a two-RBI single by Gonzalez.
John earned the wins on the mound, allowing a total of six earned runs on 10 hits while striking out 13, fanning the side in the bottom of the second in game two. Cheevers led West Plains at the plate with a 6 for 7 evening that featured three triples, seven runs and a pair of RBIs.
Gonzalez was 4 for 7 with 4 RBIs while Mayer was 3 for 6 with 4 RBIs, Barsness 3 for 5 with six runs and 2 RBIs and Pavao 3 for 7 with three runs and 4RBIs.
West Plains' head coach Byron Pavao said in an email the Bandits played "pretty well" against the Lightning, fifth in the nine-team 14U division. The team has had a tendency to play to the level of their opponents, Pavao said, which can lead to games that are closer than they should be.
"Before the games I asked them to play at our level and they responded well with 13 hits in the first game and 10 hits in the second," Pavao added.
West Plains is currently in second place, two games behind the Central Valley Mudhens who are unbeaten in league at 8-0. The Bandits traveled Wednesday (July 2) to Mt. Spokane to face the fourth-place Stealth, and will compete in the Fourth of July Shootout, July 5 in Spokane.
John McCallum can be reached at email@example.com.