By Lee Hughes
Staff Reporter 

Card softball enjoys three-game win streak going into season finale

Girls fifth-seeded for playoffs on Saturday

 

Medical Lake at Lakeside

As the regular season draws to a close, the Cardinal softball team got a taste of what the post season may be like in the Northeast A League when they faced undefeated Lakeside on Tuesday, April 30.

And it didn’t taste so good in a 9-1 road loss at Nine Mile Falls.

“The Lakeside pitcher is pretty good,” head coach Tim Blakely said. “We were only able to get four hits off her.”

Lakeside’s offense grabbed an early 4-0 lead after one inning that they didn’t relinquish for seven innings against the error-riddled Cardinals defense who struggled to keep the Eagles juggernaut at bay.

Suzanne Shores pitched a complete game, giving up nine runs on 13 hits and striking out four through six innings.

The rest of the defense struggled as well. The big issue was errors: the Cards had nine, virtually handing disciplined, league-leading Eagles, who had no errors, the win..

Medical Lake struggled against the Eagles pitching that put nine Card batters down swinging. Lakeside’s Megan Isayev, who also pitched a complete game, threw 56 strikes in 75 pitches and allowed only four hits in an effort that kept the Cards off the bags and on defense the whole game.


Ashlyn Tamietti and Shores each hit singles. Mijai Ryans had a single RBI for the Cards’ lone run in the top of the fifth inning. Kaylee Thompson hit a double.

“We committed a few errors,” Blakely said of the team’s nine errors. “Between not hitting and a few errors it kept their momentum going.”

Medical Lake at Newport

The Cards came out fast in a 9-3 road victory against Newport (1-10, 1-11) on Thursday, May 2, starting in the first inning, pounding out four runs before the side was retired.

Medical Lake’s defense, with strong pitching from Shores, kept Newport at bay until the bottom of the sixth, when the Grizzlies managed to sneak one run into the plate, then another two runs in the ninth.

But it was too little too late.

Shores was strong and accurate from the circle, pitching a complete game and throwing 17 strikeouts in 90 pitches with no walks.

Offensively, the Card girls had nine runs on 13 hits with seven RBIs, led by Haley Musser and Maddie McDowell with two apiece. Musser hit two doubles, and Shores one. McDowell hit a triple.

Medical Lake vs. St. Maries (doubleheader)

On Saturday the Cards hosted the St. Maries Lumberjacks (6-3, 9-7) in a non-league doubleheader. St. Maries is an Idaho 3A team, equivalent to a 2A Washington team, Blakely said.

It was all Medical Lake in both games as the Cards handed the Lumberjacks their axes and sent them packing.

“We were able to out-man them,” Blakely said. “

Medical Lake again came out strong up-front in game one, creating some wiggle room with five runs in the bottom of the first inning. St. Maries answered back with two runs in the top of the second, but the Cards came right back in the bottom half, knocking in four more runs, making it 10-2 Cards going into the top of the third.


The Lumberjacks managed only one more run to the Cards four in the remainder of the game to give Medical Lake a 13-3 victory.

“Our bats were hot,” Blakely said. “Those hits are contagious.”

He noted that the Lumberjack pitcher was on the wild side, with 15 Cards getting hit by the ball, resulting in free passes for the Cards.

Shores notched the win, again pitching a complete, six inning game, allowing only four hits, three runs and no walks, while throwing 12 strikeouts on 103 pitches, and also managed to steal three bases offensively.

The Cards’ offense was on fire, with 10 of their hits resulting in singles. Five players recorded eight game RBIs.

It was much the same in game two, if not such a spread in the final 7-3 Cardinal win.

“I played some other kids just to get them some playing time,” Blakely said. “It worked out for us.”

Again, it was score early, score often for the Card girls, who brought in three runs in the first inning and another in the second, while holding the Lumberjacks scoreless until the top of the third.

By the end of the fifth inning the Lumberjacks had managed to bring a runner in to score, but Medical Lake answered with three more runs to make it a 7-3 game going into the sixth. The Card defense held St. Maries scoreless after that in a seven inning, 7-3 Card victory.

Shores again pitched a complete game, twice in one day and her fourth in a week. She allowed three runs on seven hits but had zero walks and nine strikeouts.

The offense continued to do its thing, with seven runs on nine hits and six walks. Musser was a monster at the place with four of the teams five RBIs while hitting two home runs.

“They intentionally walked Haley in her last at-bat, showing her a little respect,” Blakely said.

The coach told him of Musser, “I just can’t give her another opportunity,” Blakely said.

Medical Lake had one more game as of press time against the 6-5 NEA Freeman Scotties beginning today, Thursday, May 9 at 5 p.m. against the Scotties in Freeman. As the fifth seed they will be facing fourth-seeded Freeman again on Thursday at 5 p.m. in post-season play. A win will advance the Cards to play either Lakeside or Riverside on Saturday at 10 a.m. The location had yet to be determined as of press time.

Lee Hughes can be reached at lee@cheneyfreepress.com.

 

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