Montesano edges PWV, 7-6, in battle of softball league champs

MONTESANO — Two league champions took to the Montesano High School softball field on Monday afternoon. They combined for a great softball contest that will hold both of them as they enter the postseason next week.

Trailing after three innings, host Montesano posted two 3-run innings to get out in front of Pe Ell-Willapa Valley and withstood a seventh-inning rally for a 7-6 victory.

The Titans loaded the bases and got two runs across on two-out walks before a rare offensive interference call on the basepaths ended the contest with the tying run coming home.

“We’re going to build on this,” Montesano head coach Pat Pace said. “For us, (fighting adversity) was big. In league, we were ahead most of the time. However at times, like against Hoquiam, we didn’t fight through. This is something we can take through to district, because we were able to do it.”

“In non-league games that are competitive enough, I liked the idea of coming back, being smart and working the count,” PWV head coach Ken Olson said. “This was two quality teams going after each other. We had a few things that we need to work on, but we battled hard.”

Leading 7-4 entering the top of the seventh inning, Montesano kept in starter Samantha Stanfield to give her a chance for the complete-game win. After a lead-off strikeout and an infield fielding error, two walks loaded the bases with one out.

Stanfield got a strikeout for the second out, but walked in two runs to heighten the drama. One of the walks went to PWV’s Railey Smith, who finished with four walks in the contest, including an RBI for the final run of the contest.

On the next at-bat, the Titans looked like they were about to get the tying run home on a bloop infield single. However, runner Kamryn Adkins ran into third baseman Hannah Quinn, who was running for the ball, to bring offensive interference to end the inning and the game.

“Sam has had her struggles, so if we are going to play tougher competition in the postseason, this is what I want — for her to work her way out of it,” Pace added. “It wasn’t the way you want to finish the game, but we got the outcome. She’ll get stronger for it.”

Stanfield picked up the win in the circle with 10 strikeouts and 10 walks, but had plenty of support from her teammates at the plate after PWV grabbed the lead in the third.

Tied at 1-1, the Titans posted three runs off Stanfield with an RBI double from Dakota Brooks and an RBI single from Grace Hodel for a 4-1 lead. Brooks, who started for PWV, returned to the circle and got two strikeouts to end the third and keep the momentum.

“We got some good little bunts to get the inning started, then Brooks hits that hard one to the fence,” Olson said. “It happened both ways. Pat is a classy coach and we like facing his teams. It is a class program here and we were happy to come over and play them.”

In Montesano’s fourth, Brooks was struck for three runs to end her pitching day. Allysa Gustafson slugged a two-run home run over the center-field fence and Cheyann Bartlett scored on a delayed steal at home when Josie Toyra went halfway between first and second.

Against reliever Adkins, the Bulldogs scored three in the fifth for a 7-4 lead. Lindsay Pace and Annie Cristelli each had RBI singles and Peyton Poler had an RBI fielder’s choice for Monte.

On Wednesday, Montesano will host Adna. On Thursday, PWV is scheduled to host Elma.

PWV 103 000 2 — 6 5 1

Montesano 100 330 x — 7 8 1

Brooks, Adkins (5) and G. Hodel; Stanfield and Poler.

RBI: PWV — Pollard, Brooks, G. Hodel, Adkins, Smith. Montesano — Pace, Poler 2, Gustafson 2, Cristelli. Two hits: PWV — G. Hodel. Montesano — Poler. Home run: Montesano — Gustafson. Doubles: PWV — Brooks. Montesano — Poler.

Winning pitcher — Stanfield (10 strikeouts, 10 walks). Losing pitcher — Adkins (two walks).

Montesano edges PWV, 7-6, in battle of softball league champs
Montesano edges PWV, 7-6, in battle of softball league champs
Montesano edges PWV, 7-6, in battle of softball league champs