Though it’s too early to call it, the Pe Ell-Willapa Valley Titans took a major step in claiming a 2B Pacific League title on Saturday.
The Titans got plenty of hitting en route to a doubleheader sweep over the team that figures to be their toughest league competitor — the Ocosta Wildcats — winning handily by scores of 14-4 and 10-0.
PWV 14, Ocosta 4 (5 inn.)
The Titans scored 14 runs without the benefit of an extra-base hit, knocking 15 singles and capitalizing on four Ocosta errors to earn a mercy-rule victory in Game 1 of Saturday’s doubleheader.
PWV (6-1 overall, 4-0 Pacific 2B) took a 2-0 lead in the first inning and put the game out of reach with seven runs in the third inning, including two-run singles from third baseman Katie Adkins and catcher Grace Hodel, to take a 9-0 lead.
Ocosta (0-3, 0-2), which hadn’t played since a week before due to Wednesday’s twin bill against North Beach being rained out, responded with four runs the following frame, three of those with two out as Kiana Battiste, Krystal Morales and Ronni Graham had consecutive run-scoring base hits to cut the PWV lead to 9-4.
But PWV scratched across a run in the fourth and four in the fifth, earning the 10-run rule walk-off win when the Titans’ Britney Patrick came around to score on an Ocosta error.
Kamryn Adkins earned the win for PWV, allowing four earned runs on six hits with two strikeouts.
Freshman hurler Olivia Matlock pitched the final 1 1/3 innings for PWV, holding Ocosta hitless to go along with four strikeouts.
Ocosta’s Mackenzie Fletcher took the loss, allowing seven earned runs on seven hits in 2 1/3 innings pitched.
Adkins led PWV at the plate, going 3-for-3 with two runs and three RBI for a Titans teams that whacked 15 hits, all of them being singles.
PWV 10, Ocosta 0 (6 inn.)
A 1-0 pitcher’s duel in the fourth inning turned into a mercy-rule victory as PWV blew the game open with six runs in the fifth inning to win 10-0 in Saturday’s nightcap.
Both PWV starter Olivia Matlock and Ocosta pitcher Ronnie Graham held opposing offenses in check, with the Titans scoring the only run through four innings when Britney Patrick, who was aboard with a leadoff triple in the top of the fourth, scored on an Ocosta error.
The Titans finally got to Graham and Ocosta reliever Mackenzie Fletcher in the fifth inning, scoring six runs on five singles and two walks in the frame.
PWV added three runs in the sixth inning on a Britney Patrick triple, Grace Hodel’s double and Jeorgi Ritzman’s single to obtain the 10-run lead.
Matlock dominated in the circle for PWV, allowing no runs on one hit while striking out 10 Wildcats.
“I felt energized because I had my team backing me up,” Matlock said. “I feel like we’re working so well together and it’s really showing.”
The sweep puts PWV in the driver’s seat for a league title, as Ocosta was largely considered PWV’s toughest competition in the 2B Pacific League heading into the 2019 season.
PWV head coach Ken Olson isn’t ready to set aside some room in the trophy case just yet.
“Ocosta is a tough team and they’ve got some good hitters, but we were very sound all the way around and you have to be against the better teams,” Olson said. “There’s a lot of league games left and we’ll see how all those shake out.”
Ocosta, however, is faced with a two-game deficit they’d have to make up against a PWV team that won the state championship in 2017 and is expected to contend for a state title this season.
Despite already facing a two-game hole in the league-title race, Ocosta head coach Jason Barnum kept his team’s spirits high after Saturday’s sweep.
“Knowing that they were a good team coming in, we had certain goals we wanted to do,” Barnum said. “We made some mistakes but I felt we did more positive things than negative. … They have a heavy lineup. My pitchers hit their spots, we need to make some plays in the field, but overall I thought we played well.”
Ocosta catcher Kristi Raffelson said she feels the resilient Wildcats will be in the thick of postseason competition despite the sweep at the hands of their league rival.
“It’s one of the biggest things I’m grateful for with our team: To get over errors and a bad game. We’re really good at getting over those,” Raffelson said. “I really appreciate that we can because what hurts us more is dwelling on the past. We don’t want that moving forward because all we’re going to do is move up.”
Montesano 15, North Kitsap 5
Montesano right fielder Jessica Stanfield smashed two home runs in a perfect 4-for-4 day at the plate to lead the Bulldogs to a 15-5 mercy-rule victory over North Kitsap on Saturday at Auburn Riverside High School.
Tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the second inning, Stanfield smashed the first pitch she saw over the left field fence, driving in herself and Janessa Otterstetter for a 3-1 Monte lead.
Stanfield’s blast opened the floodgates as the Bulldogs (4-1) would push across four more runs in the inning, three on Matti Ekerson’s bases-loaded triple with one out in the inning, giving Monte a 7-1 heading to the third.
Stanfield was back at it the following frame, belting a two-run homer to center field as the Bulldogs opened up a 9-1 lead over the Vikings (5-2).
Monte totalled 19 hits in the contest. Stanfield led the way, scoring four runs, driving in four and adding two singles in addition to her two home runs.
Four additional Bulldogs had multi-hit games, led by Lindsay Pace (3-4, 2B, 3B, 4 R), Otterstetter (3-4, 2 R) and center fielder Lexi Lovell (3-3, 2 R).
Ekerson went 2-for-4 with a run scored and a team-leading five RBI.
Sophomore Grace Geer earned the win in the circle for Monte, allowing four earned runs on six hits with a strikeout.
Elma 14, North Kitsap 3
Elma 7, Sehome 7