Monte girls strike late to beat Hoquiam

Bulldogs score four runs in the seventh to beat Hoquiam, 6-2

Montesano conjured up some late-inning two-out magic to strike the first blow in this season’s softball rivalry with Hoquiam.

Scoring four times with two outs in the seventh inning, the Bulldogs rallied for a 6-2 victory over the Grizzlies in a battle of Evergreen 1A league softball unbeatens Thursday at Gable Park.

Samantha Stanfield pitched a four-hitter and helped herself with three hits and two RBIs — including a seventh-inning single that knocked in the go-ahead run.

The reigning state 1A champion Bulldogs (1-0, 4-0) did all their scoring in the final three innings. All six runs came with two outs.

Their rally spoiled a gutsy pitching effort by Hoquiam’s English Hyde. The senior right-hander was struck on her surgically repaired left knee by Stanfield’s line shot in the third inning.

After howling in pair as she dropped to the ground, Hyde eventually regained her feet and finished the contest. Although the knee had already begun swelling, she proclaimed herself OK afterward.

“I thought English pitched a very good game moving the ball around against us for five innings,” Monte coach Pat Pace said. “We’re always preaching to the girls to make adjustments every at bat and I thought we did that today.”

As is often the case in match-ups of these Harbor rivals, Thursday’s contest was a well-played affair that went down to the wire.

Given a second life when her infield fly was misplayed and eventually rolled foul, Hoquiam’s Maddie German made the Bulldogs pay with a solo home run to right-center in the first inning.

German also scored Hoquiam’s second run, in the fourth inning, on the front end of a double steal that also included courtesy runner Emiley Elders.

Stanfield followed Lindsay Pace’s two-out RBI single in the fifth with a run-scoring double that tied it at 2-2.

That’s the way it remained until Montesano’s half of the seventh.

Ninth-place hitter Payton Kersker worked Hyde for a one-out walk and was sacrificed by Abi Parkin to second base. Pace also walked to bring Stanfield to the plate.

Monte’s senior pitcher looped Hyde’s first pitch into right field for a single that scored Kersker. Peyton Poler followed with a two-run single to left that made it 5-2. A single-error combination on Matti Ekerson’s hit to left completed the scoring.

Stanfield finished the job by working around a one-out walk to Jade Cox in the bottom of the seventh.

“You’ve got to give them credit. They clutched up when they had to,” Hoquiam coach Keith Reynvaan said with a wry smile. “That’s the sign of a good team.”

The hard-throwing Stanfield fanned eight in the first three innings and finished with 10 strikeouts.

The Bulldogs host their traditional contest with Lakeside of Nine Mile Falls at 2 p.m. Monday. The Grizzlies (1-1, 5-1) are idle until visiting Elma on April 9.

Montesano 000 020 4 — 6 7 1

Hoquiam 100 100 0 — 2 4 2

S. Stanfield and Poler; Hyde and German.

RBI: Montesano — S. Stanfield 2, Poler 2, Pace, Ekerson. Hoquiam — German. Three hits: Montesano — S. Stanfield. Home runs: Hoquiam — German. Doubles: Montesano — S. Stanfield. Hoquiam — Spradlin.

Winning pitcher — S. Stanfield (walked three; struck out 10). Losing pitcher — Hyde (walked five; struck out six).