Pitching was the main winner Thursday as Central Valley and University claimed district softball titles at Whitworth.
CV’s Carli Riordan (9-2) won the 4A title game 2-0 and U-Hi’s Brittany Hecker (15-4) won the 3A title game 3-2, but Mead’s Hannah Beloved and North Central’s Malia Wash were just as sharp. The four combined to strike out 36 and walk three.
Beloved (7-3) struck out 11 and walked none against CV, but she was the victim of two singles that just eluded her infielders and two infield errors that led to the runs.
“I can relate and I definitely feel for her,” said Riordan, who struck out eight and escaped a bases-loaded situation in the fourth thanks to her catcher, Kiara McCoy.
McCoy called for a drop ball on a 3-2 count with one out. Mead’s Kodee Kinder struck out, and McCoy dug the ball out of the dirt and doubled up Ashlynn Bocook at third base.
“It’s crazy how things work out like that,” Riordan said. “She swung at ball four, so it could have been totally different.”
“(McCoy) had the amazing block and had the sense of mind to come up throwing,” CV coach Joe Stanton said.
CV’s Bailey Bergdahl singled up the middle with one out in the second, stole second and scored on Tia Pau’s two-out single that went under the glove of shortstop Anna Mattingly.
CV added an insurance run in the sixth on two errors and a stolen base.
“I definitely tip my hat to Beloved,” Stanton said. … “She really bit us on the outside corner all night long.”
NC’s Wash (14-4) struck out seven while Hecker fanned 10, including six of the last seven she faced.
“(Wash) stayed on the outer half and we didn’t adjust and we didn’t make her adjust,” U-Hi coach Jon Schuh said.
“Hecker composed herself and threw the way she was capable, especially the last couple of innings.”
NC led 1-0 after Lauren Hare’s RBI single in the first, but U-Hi struck for two in the fourth, boosted by Taylor Morales’ leadoff double. Jessica Huffman’s RBI double in the fourth tied the game, but Morales led off the sixth with a single and scored on Brooklyn Tacke’s two-out double.
“I wanted to make sure that I got on and got my team to score in those innings, just because we needed them so much,” Morales said.
NC’s Kiki Ortega led off the fifth with a hit to center, but the Titans’ Ryelynn Mendoza threw her out at second base.
CV (16-3) is the No. 1 seed to the 4A regional and will play at noon May 18 in Richland for a state berth. U-Hi (16-5) is the top seed to the 3A regional and will host Kennewick or Sunnyside at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Mead (13-6) will play Lewis and Clark at 5 p.m. today at Whitworth for the final 4A regional berth. NC (16-4) will meet Shadle Park at 3 today at Whitworth for regional seeding.
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