One team talked about needing a wakeup call. The other hopes it got an alarm rouser Thursday.
The Lake City High softball team rebounded from a previous loss to Coeur d’Alene as the visiting Timberwolves handed the Vikings their first defeat, 5-3, in an Inland Empire League game.
The Vikings rallied for an 8-4 win in eight innings in the first game last month. But the loss that got the Timberwolves’ attention was a 4-3 setback to Post Falls on Wednesday.
“We needed to answer back after (Wednesday),” LC coach Laura Tolzmann said. “Yesterday was definitely a heartbreaker. We knew we had to come in today and just hit. That’s how you’ve got to win games.”
LC (8-4 overall, 4-2 league) sent nine batters to the plate in the first inning against senior standout pitcher Jenna DeLong. The T-Wolves managed three hits to go with a key passed ball, wild pitch and walk. Bri Harbor and Janey Ortega had run-scoring hits.
Still, DeLong, who had three strikeouts in the opening inning, could have gotten into the dugout without allowing a run. LC leadoff hitter Richelle Fenenbock struck out, but beat feet to first when the third strike got past CdA catcher Lauren Horton. Then after a single by Chantal Waide and a sacrifice, DeLong (8-1) fanned Amanda Krier, but she got aboard when the strikeout pitch bounced wildly to the backstop, loading the bases.
Harbor and Ortega followed with their key hits.
DeLong then held LC in check over the next five innings. That allowed the Viks (13-1, 7-1) to chip away. They scored runs in the first and fifth innings to pull within 3-2.
In the bottom of the sixth, CdA tied it at 3-3 when Horton slapped an opposite-field single to score Katie Bologna, who matched Fenenbock with three hits.
LC added two runs in the top of the seventh on a run-scoring double by Waide and a single by Krier.
T-Wolf junior left-handed pitcher Kimberly Lynn got CdA in order in the bottom of the seventh to move her record to 6-0. She scattered 10 hits. She had just two strikeouts but coaxed 10 flyouts, six to Waide in right field.
“She was just awesome,” Tolzmann said. “She set the tone and our defense was there.”
In the seventh, Waide patiently battled against DeLong, finally knocking a double to the left-field fence on a 3-2 changeup.
“Jenna threw well, but we finally started hitting a lot better,” Waide said. “Jenna normally throws me a lot of junk. I kind of knew the change was coming. So I just held back and hit it. I had an instinct – just with the count and the way she always throws to me.”
Fenenbock said LC’s start was key.
“It was good that we came out hard in the first inning because we’re usually a slow-starting team,” Fenenbock said.
Bieber hopes the loss jolts his defending state title team.
“It’s an aberration like I said last year when this happened to us,” Bieber said. “We’ll start believing in each other again just like we always have. It seems like it takes this kick in the teeth every year before we decide ‘hey, wait a minute, that’s not us.’ “
The teams play two more games – single contests at each school.