Centralia in hunt for playoff spot with vital victory


There’s a case of déjà vu running around Fort Borst Park. For the second consecutive year, the Tigers softball team is putting themselves in a position to extend their season.

Behind a complete game two-hitter from Hollynn Wakefield, Centralia triumphed over Rochester 4-2 at home on Wednesday night to stay alive for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Evergreen Conference.
“I expect to be playing at the end of May,” Centralia head coach David Orr said. “Years and years ago, when I was in school, the girls just expected to win. It has been a long time since we’ve had that culture. We’re moving in the right direction.”

The Warriors have one league game left, facing Black Hills on Thursday. A victory would put them in a tie with the Tigers at 5-7 in the league.  If that does happen, then Rochester and Centralia would battle on Friday at 4:30 p.m. at Fort Borst Park for the right to play in the Class 2A District 4 tournament.

Wakefield rebounded after two poor starts, battling around four walks and four errors from her defense to hold for the win. She struck two Rochester batters.

“When she gets nervous, she gets a little tight and (her pitches) come across a little bit high,” Orr stated. “When she’s loose and she’s confident, that’s when she’s on.”

Lauren Wasson stayed hot at the plate, breaking a 1-1 tie with a solo home run in the bottom of the third inning for Centralia (10-9, 5-7 EvCo). Makenzie Erickson added an RBI single in the frame and Grace Schofield roped a run-scoring double for an insurance run in the fourth.

Erickson, Wakefield and McKenna Smith all recorded two hits in the bottom-fourth of Centralia’s lineup. Makayla Chavez ripped two doubles for the Tigers.

Rochester (8-12, 4-7) struck first on an RBI double from Layna Demers and she scored in the sixth on a passed ball. It had the tying run at the plate in the same inning, but Wakefield induced a groundout.

The Warriors proceeded to go down in order in the seventh. Demers struck out six in the circle.