Finally challenged after a pair of lopsided victories, Elma used a late-inning push to turn back upset-minded Ocosta.
The Eagles scored four runs in their final two innings for an 8-5 win over the Wildcats in a non-league softball game on March 14 at the Ventron Complex.
Rallying from a 4-0 deficit, the Wildcats (state Class 2B semifinalists last year), tied the game at 4-4 in the top of the fifth.
The Wildcats were sparked by some familiar faces in the fifth when Kaylee Barnum and Kristi Rafelson set the table for the comeback attempt. Evalyn Marsh’s RBI single tied the contest.
Unfazed by the surge from the Wildcats, the Eagles scored regained the lead with a solo run in their half of the fifth, then pulled away with three runs in the sixth. botto took flight again in the s
Ocosta miscues and some timely hitting helped Elma reclaim the lead. A Wildcat rally in the seventh fell short when Kali Rambo’s diving play from shortstop prevented another comeback with the potential tying run in the on-deck circle.
“I’m glad it was a close game,” Elma coach Roger Elliott said. “We’ve had a couple of games that haven’t been so close. It was nice to play a good, tight ball game to see what the kids could do.”
With Ocosta pitcher Erika Snider struggling to find the strike zone, the Eagles used walks to ignite a four-run first inning.
Chloe Velasco drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single after a run had already been walked in.
Snider shook off her shaky start and began to quiet Elma’s bats for the next few innings. Snider primarily pitched to contact but still ended up with four strikeouts against an aggressive Elma lineup.
Elma had the benefit of a strong effort in the circle from Quin Mikel who did a good job working out of trouble when necessary.
“She struggled a little bit not hitting her spots but she did a nice job,” Elliott said. “She’s not quite hitting her spots yet but we’ll get her on track. She still powered through.”
Ocosta coach Jason Barnum generally liked what he saw in his team’s season opener.
“The girls that are supposed to hit the ball, hit the ball,” he said. “We had some great defense at short and we had some great catches in the outfield. It was an all-around good game. I’m happy with how we played. Elma is a great team.”
Elma 14, Klahowya 4
SILVERDALE — Mikel, Molly Johnston, Rambo and Chloe Velasco led an Elma offensive assault in a decisive win over Klahowya in non-league play on March 15 at Silverdale.
Mikel delivered five hits, Johnston had four (including a three-run homer in the seventh) and Rambo drove in four runs for Elma’s Eagles (4-0). Velasco had a pair of doubles among her three hits.
Elma had an odd performance at the plate — banging out 21 hits but also striking out 14 times.
“We swung at a few bad pitches and the umpire had a pretty wide strike zone,” coach Elliott chuckled. “I’m very satisfied with the girls, they hit the ball hard.”
Eagles 14, Bulldogs 0
ELMA — Elma didn’t have any problems with North Mason’s young roster as the Eagles cruised to a non-league victory on March 13.
The Eagles jumped on the Bulldogs early and had already opened up a double-digit lead by the second inning. Destry Dineen and Mikel combined for a shuout while scattering four hits.
Mikel drove in four runs and Emily Newberry had three RBIs for the Eagles (2-0).
“We hit the ball really well,” coach Elliott said.
Ocosta 011 020 1 — 5 7 2
Elma 400 013 x — 8 10 0
Erika Snider and Raffelson; Mikel and Cain.
RBI: Ocosta — L. Barnum, K. Barnum, Marsh 2, Raffelson.Elma — Velasco 3, Newberry 2, Rambo. Three hits: Elma — Whipple. Two hits: Ocosta — K. Barnum, Marsh.
Winning pitcher — Mikel (walked none; struck out five). Losing pitcher — Erika Snider (walked three; struck out four).
Elma 302 301 5 — 14 21 0
Klahowya 121 000 0 — 4 7 0
Dineen, Whipple (2), Mikel (3) and Olson, Cain (5); Bumbalough and Lueck.
RBI: Elma — Johnston 3, Mikel 3, Rambo 4, Velasco 3, Whipple. Klahowya — Bumbalough 2, Lueck, Trull. Five hits: Elma — Mikel. Four hits: Elma — Johnston. Three hits: Elma — Rambo, Velasco. Klahowya — Bumbalough. Two hits: Elma — Dineen. Home runs:Elma — Johnston. Klahowya — Bumbalough. Triples: Elma — Rambo. Doubles: Elma — Johnston, Mikel, Velasco 2, Newberry.
Winning pitcher — Whipple (walked three; struck out one). Losing pitcher — Bumbalough (walked two; struck out 14).
N. Mason 000 00 — 0 4 0
Elma 580 1x — 14 15 1
Lewis, Drumm (2); Dineen, Mikel (2).
RBI: Elma — Mikel 4, Rambo 2, Velasco 2, Newberry 3, Cain, Thompson, Olson. Three hits: Elma — Mikel. Two hits: Elma — Dineen, Johnston, Newberry, Cain. Triples: Elma — Mikel. Doubles: Elma — Mikel, Cain.
Winning pitcher — Dineen (walked one; struck out two). Losing pitcher — Lewis (walked three; struck out two).