Sophomore call-up sparks Mead in district softball

Try to top this for a varsity debut: going 4 for 4 with the winning RBI during a winner-to-regional game.

That’s what Mead sophomore Erin Kautzman accomplished during Friday’s 4-3 win over Lewis and Clark to complete the District 8 4A softball tournament at Whitworth University.

Kautzman, batting leadoff after her recent call-up from junior varsity, singled in the first inning, singled and scored in the third, singled in the fourth and singled home Macey Gonzales from third base for the winning run in the bottom of the sixth.

“I was a little nervous at first, but once I made contact I knew it was good,” Kautzman said.

“She really stepped up for us today and did really good,” said winner Kylie Bremner (7-3), who pitched a four-hitter, striking out eight and walking one.

Mead (14-6) earned the second and final berth to the May 18 4A regional in Richland. LC (8-14), which had lost to Mead 10-3 and 12-3 during the Greater Spokane League season, was eliminated.

Mead was forced to shuffle its lineup after three starters were suspended for one game. Gonzales, a junior, filled in at second base and went 2 for 3.

With the game tied at 3, Gonzales led off the sixth and singled off reliever Sydney Dixon (3-7). Gonzales took second on a wild pitch, moved to third on a flyout by another recent call-up, pinch-hitter Olivia Byers, and scored on Kautzman’s single to left.

“We had a little adversity today and the girls came through and they supported each other,” Mead coach Joel Shawen said.

Mead’s Anna Mattingly tripled to center and scored on Bremner’s single in the first. Mattingly was hit on the left wrist during her next at-bat and was scheduled to have X-rays after the game. Mattingly had filled in at shortstop for Hailey Shanholtzer, who broke her wrist less than three weeks ago but is back at short and batted for Mattingly in the sixth.

“Now we think we’ve traded a fracture for a fracture,” Shawen said.

LC led 2-1 after Emma Bragg doubled home Ava Pettoelo and scored on an error in the second. Kodee Kinder gave Mead a 3-2 lead in the third with a two-out, two-run bloop single near the left-field foul line.

LC starter Sage Scheiwiller struck out five in five innings.

The regional will begin at noon with Mead playing a loser-out game against the Mid-Columbia Conference’s No. 2 team while No. 1 Central Valley plays a winner-to-state game against MCC No. 1. Chiawana, Walla Walla and Richland are playing today to determine MCC seeding.

District 8 3A

North Central 6, Shadle Park 1: Malia Wash (15-4) pitched a two-hitter, striking out two, walking none and allowing no earned runs as the Indians (17-4) defeated the Highlanders (10-12) at Whitworth to determine the second and third seeds to regional.

Avery Smith’s two-run single in the fifth capped NC’s scoring. Hannah Wafstet, Lauren Hare and Hannah George had RBI singles in the third. Tamiya Tisdale went 3 for 4 with two runs.

NC will host Hanford at 4 p.m. Tuesday. The Indians hope to hold the game at Whitworth. Shadle will travel to Southridge at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

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