Blazers Split With Chemeketa, Drop Two to SWOCC


The Centralia College softball team split a pair of games against Chemeketa on Tuesday and lost both ends of a doubleheader against Southwestern Oregon on Wednesday during an Oregon road swing. The trip concluded the 2022 season for the Blazers, who went 10-14 and tied for fifth in the NWAC South Conference standings.

Wednesday’s Games

The South Conference champion Lakers (21-3) won Wednesday’s opener in Coos Bay 10-1, before taking Game 2 by a 13-2 margin. Both games went just five innings.

Southwestern Oregon homered three times in Game 1 and piled up 14 hits in the win.

“We went in with a good plan for pitching, but we knew we needed to get our bats going in order to compete with this team,” Centralia coach Payton Pocklington said. “The top of the lineup was hot and did their job; however, that was not the case for the bottom of the lineup.”

Leadoff hitter Kylie Baker went 2 for 2 and Nikole Schock doubled and drove in a run for the Blazers.

Centralia kept things closer in Game 2, trailing 7-2 after four innings, with Paige Bryant pitching well, Pocklington noted.

“We got runners on almost every inning, but we struggled getting them in,” Pocklington said. 

Hannah Tennant hit a grand slam in the fifth inning for the Lakers that ended the game.

Emma Eko doubled and drove in a run, Sydney Yates was 2 for 2 with a double and an RBI, Grace Hodel hit a double, and Schock and Casey Wentz added hits for Centralia.

Tuesday’s Games

Centralia came up just short against Chemeketa in Salem, 1-0, in the eight-inning opener, before winning the nightcap 9-3.

Kiyah Kennedy pitched all eight innings in Game 1, fanning five and walking three while carrying a shutout into the eighth inning.

“She did an amazing job on the mound,” Pocklington said. “We played very well on defense and we got out of several tight situations.”

Kennedy, Kylie Baker, Casey Wentz, Nikole Schock and Sydney Yates all had hits for the Blazers.

“We played a very tight game and we played very well. We just couldn't get runners around,” Pocklington added.

Paige Bryant tossed all seven innings in the 9-3 Game 2 win, in which Centralia led 4-0 after an inning.

Baker went 3 for 4, Wentz was 2 for 4, Kennedy was 2 for 2 with a double and two RBIs, Yates was 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI, and Kaylee Ashley doubled and drove in a run.

“I think we took the extra-inning loss hard and we came out ready to go,” Pocklington said. “Paige threw very well, and we played clean defense.”