There is no defense, the adage goes, against the walk.
Mead will concur, what with pitcher Taneesha Pounder struggling to find the plate and No. 2 pitcher Alisha Meade under the weather and unavailable.
Visiting Panthers pitchers surrendered 16 free passes and hit a Shadle Park batter, and 11 of those scored in the Highlanders’ 15-5 five-inning Greater Spokane League victory Tuesday.
Shadle improved to 2-0, while Mead dropped to 2-1
“Poor Taneesha is struggling,” Mead coach John Barrington said. “You’re not going to win games (when that happens). Alisha has been battling a fever all week. She pitched yesterday, but was dehydrated and couldn’t go.”
Pounder worked into the third inning, allowing 12 walks.
The first five Shadle batters in the bottom of the first inning walked and scored, one when Katelyn Harvey was hit by a pitch, another on the sixth bases on balls and the fifth run on freshman Alana Norman’s bloop single over shortstop.
Harvey added a two-run single in the second inning following a couple more walks. The Highlanders put six runs in the books in the third on four more walks.
“It’s a different game,” said Shadle coach George Lynn, who has been spoiled by pitching over the years. “I’m not used to it, but it’s definitely exciting.”
Shadle pitcher Haylee Cushner, who had allowed only two base runners in three innings, hit a batter and walked one as Mead scored in the fourth. The Panthers scored four times in the fifth inning after Emma Barrington opened with a hard double and Britney Miller added a two-run single.
Cushner had three walks in that inning, finishing with six and hit a batter herself. But she had four assists on grounders back to the mound.
“It’s the second time she’s pitched a game in the GSL,” Lynn said. “She looked good out there and fields her position well.”
Leadoff hitter Allie Burger had two hits and scored three runs. Norman was 3 for 3 and drove in three runs, batting ninth in the Highlanders order.
She also made a fine running catch at the out-of-play line in left field.
“We’ll get better,” Barrington said. “But you can’t compete with walks.”
In other GSL games, University (2-0) scored three times in the fourth inning for a 4-2 win over visiting East Valley (1-2). Ali Warren was 3 for 4 with a double and drove in three runs. Mollie Buelow struck out 10 and walked none. The Knights scored twice in the first and led 2-1 until the decisive inning. Freshman Tiffany Lucas struck out eight and was 2 for 3. … Mt. Spokane (1-0) won 10-5 at North Central (0-3). The Wildcats scored in each of the first five innings to lead 10-1. Chelsea Gray hit a solo home run and Erin Olmstead added a three-run shot in the second. Taryn Russell and McKenzie Reid each had three hits. Katharine Lively doubled twice for the Indians. … Host Lewis and Clark (1-1) beat Rogers (0-2) 11-1 at Hart Field. Rachel Head went 3 for 3 with three runs scored and three RBIs. … Ferris (1-1) recorded a 6-2 win over visiting Gonzaga Prep (0-2). Cassie Wendt was 3 for 4 with three RBIs and winning pitcher Erika Santarosa drove in two runs in the third inning and finished with 13 strikeouts.
In the Greater Spokane League, Fano Pau hit a bases-loaded, eighth-inning triple to lift Central Valley (2-0) to an 11-6 victory at Rogers (0-2) and a sweep of their two-day series. The Bears trailed the Pirates 6-2 after five innings, but scored four times in the sixth to tie and five runs in the decisive eighth, with Pau hitting the major blow. Dane Berg had three hits and Will Richards added two doubles for CV. Rogers’ Jake Partridge had three hits and Josh Campbell a solo home run in the fifth. … At Gonzaga Prep, defending champion University opened its season with an 11-1 victory over the Bullpups (0-1). Senior Jacob Olsufka and sophomore Nick Motsinger were each 3 for 4. Olsufka scored three times and Motsinger drove in two runs to lead a 13-hit attack. … East Valley (2-0) completed a season sweep of North Central (0-2), winning 11-1 on the road. Aaron Awbery hit a two-run triple during the Knights’ seven-run fourth inning. The Knights had 18 hits. … Ferris’ Gabe Arguinchona allowed four hits and struck out eight as the visiting Saxons (1-1) earned a two-day split with Lewis and Clark (1-1) winning 5-1 at Hart Field. Senior Brett Ward and freshman Chase Haak each had two hits and doubled. … Tyler Pfeffer went 3 for 4 with a double, driving in three runs as host Shadle Park (1-0) topped Mt. Spokane (0-1) 8-2. Pfeffer also earned the save. Parker Scott also was 3 for 4 for the Highlanders.
In a GSL game, Manny Cortez scored three times as host Gonzaga Prep routed Rogers 10-1.
The Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association (WIBCA) All-State games are today at Franklin High in Seattle. Game times are 2 p.m. for Class B, followed by 2A/1A at 4 and 4A/3A at 6.
Local players are: 4A – David Stockton (Gonzaga Prep); 3A – Anthony Brown (Shadle Park), the coaches’ classification Player of the Year; 2A – Cody Brown (Clarkston); 1A – Luke Mathews (Freeman) and Brady Blankevoort (Lakeside-Nine Mile Falls); 2B – Chase Ramey, the coaches’ classification Player of the Year and Matt Zandbergen (both Northwest Christian); 1B – Jordan Wakefield (Curlew), Nick Heitstuman (Colton) and Wyatt Sitton (St. John-Endicott).
Wayne Gilman All Star Coaches of the Year awards, chosen by their peers, included Rob Hudkins, Rosalia (1B) and Ray Ricks, Northwest Christian (2B).