MONTESANO — Three-run home runs, the preferred mode of attack for legendary baseball manager Earl Weaver, also worked well for Montesano’s girls on April 2.
Samantha Stanfield and Lindsay Pace combined on a three-hitter and each clouted three-run HRs to pace the unbeaten Bulldogs past Lakeside of Nine Mile Falls, 9-0, in a non-league softball game on the turf at Rottle Field.
The reigning state 1A champion Bulldogs (5-0) confined all their hitting to two innings — four hits apiece in the second and sixth frames.
While crediting hard-throwing Lakeside starting pitcher Shelby Claassen with helping to contain his troops, Monte coach Pat Pace admitted to some concern about the sporadic attack.
“We’re just being too tentative at the plate,” Pace said. “I don’t think they’re stepping into the box ready to swing. They’re waiting for a couple of pitches and that doesn’t seem to work for us.”
Timely long balls helped make Monday’s output palatable.
Monte scored three times without benefit of a hit in the first inning. Pitching through a rainstorm that forced about a 10-minute delay and even knocked down part of the temporary outfield fencing on the makeshift field, Claassen walked three and uncorked several wild pitches in the inning.
The Bulldogs got their bats working in the second. After Emma Jensen and Abi Parkin opened the inning with singles, the southpaw-swinging Lindsay Pace sent an opposite-field drive over the left-field fence.
Stanfield blasted an even longer homer in the sixth, this time with Parkin and Pace aboard.
Staff ace Stanfield was overpowering in her three-inning pitching stint, striking out eight of the 10 batters she faced.
Pace allowed all three of Lakeside’s hits, but preserved the shutout by fanning four.
She was aided by fine defense, including a perfect relay from left-fielder Matti Ekerson to shortstop Katie Granstrom to catcher Kate Klinger to cut down a runner at the plate in the fourth.
Beginning a cross-state trip during spring break, the Eagles from the Spokane area (3-3) also faced Castle Rock at Rottle immediately following the completion of the Montesano game.
The Bulldogs will challenge a pair of upper-classification foes Saturday when they face Kelso and Prairie in a three-team doubleheader at Kelso.
Monte 6, Hoquiam 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 1Aleague softball unbeaten on March 29 at Gable Park.
Stanfield pitched a four-hitter and helped herself with three hits and two RBIs — including a seventh-inning single that knockedin the go-ahead run.
The reigning state 1A champion Bulldogs 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 leftknee by Stanfield’s line shot in the third inning.
The hard-throwing Stanfield fanned eight in the first three innings and finished with 10 strikeouts.
Lakeside 000 000 0 — 0 3 1
Monte 330 003 x — 9 8 1
Claassen, Isayev (5) and Bennett; S. Stanfield, Pace (4) and Poler, Klinger, Poler.
RBI: Montesano — Pace 3, S. Stanfield 3. Two hits: Montesano — Parkin, Pace, Ekerson. Home runs: Montesano — Pace, S. Stanfield. Doubles: Montesano — Pace, Ekerson.
Winning pitcher — Stanfield (walked none; struck out eight). Losing pitcher — Claassen (walked six, struck out seven).
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.