Lela Work knew she was pitching well. She just didn’t know how well.
That’s because when the Lake City senior pitcher is in the circle, she gets lost in her own little zone.
Not even a heavy drizzle that seemingly hung over Coeur d’Alene’s Ramsey Park for an inning Thursday afternoon could distract Work.
Work fired a one-hitter and struck out 11 as Lake City handled Borah 10-0 in a run-rule shortened six innings in a State 5A softball tournament opener.
“I just have my zone and I try to stay in it,” Work said. “I don’t even remember right now when I gave up the hit. If somebody gets a hit, I just try to shake it off. I try not to think about it too much, otherwise I’ll psych myself out.”
In the other openers, Timberline edged Coeur d’Alene 1-0, defending state champ Eagle slipped past Highland 4-3 and Twin Falls held off Centennial 4-2.
Lake City (23-3) faces Eagle (17-12) and Timberline (26-4) meets Twin Falls (21-11) in games at noon today. In loser-out openers at 10, Coeur d’Alene (19-10) takes on Centennial (13-17) and Borah (21-9) goes against Highland (22-6).
Another round of consolation games takes place at 3 while the noon winners face off at 5.
Lake City 10, Borah 0: The Lions’ McKensie Stanton opened the game with the lone hit off Work.
Work (18-1) then got the next 16 batters out before allowing a walk with one out in the sixth inning. She got the final two outs of the game on strikeouts.
“She pitched very well,” LC catcher Jessica Ross said. “She was hitting her spots and everything was working.”
LC coach Laura Tolzmann thought it was a typical Work effort.
“She’s just so focused,” Tolzmann said. “You can tell by the look on her face that she wants to get the job done. She’s on a mission.”
LC came out hitting, opening up a 3-0 lead in the first. Katie Rowe had a run-scoring single and two more scored on an error.
In the fifth, the T-Wolves sent 11 to the plate as they scored six runs. The big hit came on a two-run single by Ross.
LC ended the game in the sixth when Alycia Barrowcliff had a run-scoring single after singles to open the inning by Kory Kritz and Avalon Leddy.
“With Lela pitching well, if we keep swinging the bats and if we keep putting pressure on with people on base, we’ve got a really good chance to win it (a state title),” Tolzmann said.
Timberline 1, Coeur d’Alene 0: The Wolves scored the lone run with the bases loaded in the first inning when a Timberline batter was hit by a pitch.
The Vikings had an opportunity to tie the score in the seventh. Jessica Lupinacci, playing for the first time since mid-March when she broke a wrist, had a pinch-hit single. She stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error.
Moments later with one out, Lupinacci tried to score on a wild pitch. But the ball bounced right back to the catcher, who applied the tag.
“It looked like to me that she was safe, but you know how that goes,” CdA coach Larry Bieber said. “Timberline’s a good team and they deserved to win. But we played well enough to win.”
CdA managed just three hits.
“We got on base, we just couldn’t come up with the big hit,” Bieber said.
Bieber challenged his team to bounce back.
“I’ve done this enough years to know that we’re good enough to win this,” Bieber said.
Eagle 4, Highland 3: Jamie Blea had a two-out RBI double in the top of the seventh as the Mustangs broke a 3-3 tie.
Eagle sophomore left-hander Jessica Holsinger had 11 strikeouts.
Twin Falls 4, Centennial 2: A pair of Katelyns led the Bruins.
Pitcher Katelyn Fjeld had 12 strikeouts and Katelyn Van Loo went 2 for 2 with an RBI.
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