Prep Fastpitch: Beavers Drop Doubleheader to Monte

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Tenino couldn’t quite maintain momentum in back-to-back losses to Montesano at home Friday, losing 8-4 and 10-4.

Beavers’ ace Emily Baxter was on fire, setting down 24 batters in 13 combined innings, but took both losses after being hurt by a total of 16 Tenino errors on defense.

“Emily is pitching lights out,” Tenino coach Chris Johnson said. “She’s got batters really baffled.”

Junior center fielder Abby Severse led the Beavers in game one with two of the team’s five hits, while Baxter and Alivia Hunter each walked twice. Severe added three more hits in game two while senior shortstop Cassie Cannon collected two hits and drove in a run.

But it was nine errors in game one and seven in game two that ultimately doomed the Beavers; something that has plagued them in all five of their games this early season.

“We’re struggling with that,” Johnson said. “I thought we had it cleaned up at practice. Mostly fielding errors. Not coming through the ball, stabbing at it, dropping fly balls and not circling the ball the right way.”

It doesn’t help that four of the five games the Beavers have played have been against Montesano, which is the defending 1A state champions from 2019. 

“I predicted them to win the league and for us to finish second,” Johnson said. “They hit the ball really well. They’re a well-coached team.”

Tenino (1-4) hosts 1A Evergreen Conference foe Hoquiam on April 13.

Vikings Catch Fire

After winning their first two games by a combined score of 43-0, Mossyrock’s home match against Naselle Friday was supposed to be the Vikings’ first real test — and it was for half an inning.

Naselle took advantage of some Mossyrock errors to jump out to a 5-0 lead in the top of the first. Then Hailey Brooks smashed a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first. She led off the second inning with another home run, followed immediately by Bailey Tafaeono’s three-run homer to give the Vikings the lead for good en route to a 22-14 victory.

“We started out slow,” Mossyrock coach Keith Coleman said. “They’re a well-coached team. Their pitcher got tired in the later innings and we took advantage of some base on balls.”

Mossyrock drew 10 walks and three hit-by-pitches, and used a nine-run fifth inning to pull away for the win. The Vikings have now outscored their three opponents by a combined score of 65-14.

 Gracie May West struck out two batters in four innings for the Vikings, while Jolee Hadaller came in for relief and tossed three innings with one strikeout.

Brooks was intentionally walked four-consecutive times after her two home runs in the first and second innings, and she walked six total times on the day.

Tofaeono was 3-for-4 at the plate with the three-run homer and a triple. West was 2-for-3 hitting while catcher Trista Rockwood was 2-for-4.

“Our girls put a lot of pressure on them,” Coleman said. “We put the bat on the ball.”

Mossyrock (3-0) heads into spring break and then gets back on the field at 3:30 p.m. on April 12 when it hosts Oakville. The Vikings beat Oakville 27-0 on opening day last week.

Rochester Wins Thriller in Tumwater

Rochester erupted for four runs in the bottom of the seventh to claim the lead and secure a 6-5 come-from-behind victory over Tumwater on the road Friday.

Kaylei Clark bashed a two-run double in the bottom of seven with one out, then Callie Crawford scored the game-winning run as Rochester recovered from a tight loss to rival W.F. West on Wednesday.

“We talked about what it takes to make it happen,” Rochester coach Tiffany Garcia said. “We talked about grit and just trying to find the heart and find the way to do it. Together, were a better team. It was definitely a team win.”

Ace Liz Phelps sat down four hitters in four innings, while Sadie Knutson threw one inning in relief and Kiyah Kennedy shut the Thunderbirds down in the final two innings. Garcia praised Faith Kennedy for her clutch hitting.

Rochester (2-1) travels to Eatonville on Monday for a non-league match against a Cruisers team that features a couple players who Garcia coaches in travel ball.

“It will definitely be a challenge,” Garcia said. “I know that.”

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