Cheney Free Press -

By JOHN McCALLUM
Managing Editor 

Lady Blackhawks keep pace in Great Northern League with road win over Pullman

 

April 25, 2019

Cheney High’s softball team had an ugly week of sorts last week — one ugly loss and one ugly win.

The Lady Blackhawks will take the latter, a 16-13 Great Northern League road win over Pullman last Tuesday, April 16. The ugly loss came two days later, a 14-3 whipping by Idaho 5A Post Falls in non-league action at home.

At Pullman, Cheney found itself in a 7-3 hole through the first three innings, but changed things with six runs in the top of the fourth for a 9-7 lead. The Lady Blackhawks got a two-RBI single by Jasmine Rison, an RBI single from Maria Guglielmo, RBI sacrifice fly from Isabella King and RBI triple from Alexis Mitchell, along with Shelby Melton scoring from third on an error by the Greyhounds shortstop.

Pullman tied the game in the bottom of the inning, but not for long. Mitchell scored Rison on a fielder’s choice in the top of the fifth, and Cheney added to it with a three-run, bases clearing triple by King and RBI single from Guglielmo in the top of the sixth.

Cheney added two more runs in the top of the seventh to stay just out of reach of Pullman’s four-run rally in the bottom of the frame.

“It was an ugly game, but we just stayed with it,” head coach Gary Blake said. “We just kept at it, kept plugging away.”

Mitchell had three hits on the afternoon while Guglielmo had two. Mitchell got the win, giving up 13 runs, seven earned on 14 hits while striking out three and walking 10 — a stat Blake questioned.

“She had a lot of pitches that looked like really good pitches,” he added.

Thursday the Lady Blackhawks ran up against a hitting machine in Post Falls. The Trojans hit everything Mitchell and reliever King threw at them and hit it hard — even when making outs.

Cheney mounted several scoring attempts in the first couple innings before finally breaking through with three runs in the bottom of the fifth. King scored Rison on a fielder’s choice, with Krantz’s driving in a run with a double and Mitchell another on a sacrifice fly to second, but it wasn’t enough to avert the game-ending 10-run rule.

Cheney managed just six hits against Trojan pitching, with Mitchell taking the loss in the pitching circle.

“She (Mitchell) was hitting her spots,” Blake said. “It just didn’t matter where the ball was, they (Post Falls) were hitting it hard.”

Cheney goes to 3-1 in GNL play, 4-7 overall. Cheney is currently second in the league behind West Valley, and has a lot of softball left with which to make moves in the standings.

Better weather conditions have helped the Lady Blackhawks finally get out onto their field for practice, and Blake thinks it’s beginning to show with their defense, which is much improved since spring break ended.

“We’re moving in the right direction, and we’re in good position as far as the league is concerned,” Blake said.

John McCallum can be reached at jmac@cheneyfreepress.com.

 

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