Prep Fastpitch: Electric Offense, Defense, Pitching Fuels PWV

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PE ELL — Pe Ell-Willapa Valley combined to score 29 runs, ace Olivia Matlock allowed just one hit and the Titans played masterful defense with zero errors in a doubleheader sweep over Ocosta on Tuesday.

In game one, PWV made some ESPN Top-10-worthy plays on defense, highlighted by freshman Grace Huber’s diving catch in the outfield and senior Annika Mason’s diving stop at shortstop before doubling up a runner at first base. The Titans finished with zero errors for a 10-0 win.

“It was as good of defense as we’ve played all year,” PWV coach Ken Olson said. “Our defense was flawless. Quite honestly, it wasn’t Olivia striking everyone out. We needed to make plays and we did.”

Matlock, who usually makes it easy on the Titans defense with frequent double-digit strikeouts, was once again a beast on the mound, throwing a nine-strikeout one-hitter to daze the Wildcats’ offense.

While the Wildcats’ bats went silent, the Titans’ bats went to work. Seniors Mason and Sadie Howard, playing in their final home game, each went 2-for-3 at the plate while Howard added an RBI. PWV finished with 11 total hits. 

The Titans broke a stalemate in the fourth inning on back-to-back errors by Ocosta, which allowed PWV to plate five runs. They followed it up with another five runs in the fifth to put the game away.

“We had a good night,” Olson said. “I can’t say enough about how good we’re playing.”

In game two, the Titans bats went from loud to explosive, as eight of the nine starters hit at least one double and the PWV blasted its way to 18 hits.

Matlock was a problem at the plate, going 3-for-3 with four RBIs, highlighted by a towering home run that was 1 foot from hitting the peak of the play shed beyond the outfield fence. She also hit a double.

Merissa Frazier was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and a double, Mason was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two doubles and Ava Bush was 3-for-3 with a triple and an RBI. 

But wait, there’s more: Dani Shannon, who was solid defensively at first base, went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and two doubles, Huber was 2-for-3 with a triple and a double and Payton Peyterson went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a double.

Matlock added to her plate performance by nearly throwing a perfect game in the circle, striking out three with no walks and just one hit in a complete-game three innings.

“We just made all the plays,” Olson said.

PWV remains unbeaten, runs its win streak to nine games and improves to 9-0 on the season. The Titans face Forks in a doubleheader on Friday in the land of vampires and werewolves. One win over the Spartans would secure the 2B Pacific League title for the Titans and lock up the No. 1 seed heading into districts.

T-Wolves Taken Out

Morton-White Pass was scattered just five hits offensively and couldn’t keep up with a strong Toutle Lake team, falling 18-1 at home on Tuesday.

Jaiden Linder led the attack on offense for MWP, going 2-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI. Natalia Armstrong scored the Timberwolves’ lone run off Linder’s RBI double and freshman McKenzie Mays went 2-for-3 in her first career-start in high school at second base.

Linder went the distance on the mound, striking out seven and allowing 18 hits in seven innings. MWP was in the game until the top of the seventh, trailing 9-1, before the Ducks exploded for seven runs.

“We actually played really strong today,” MWP coach Derek Bowen said. “Jaiden was on fire. She was pitching well tonight.”

MWP falls to 2-5 and travels to Stevenson on Wednesday.

2A Fastpitch

Tigers Nab First Win

Centralia’s bats caught fire as the Tigers smashed three home runs to beat Black Hills, 17-0, in five innings and capture their first win of the season Tuesday at home.

“Feels great,” Centralia coach David Orr said. “We finally came together as a team. They’ve been working hard on hitting and it’s definitely showing the last couple of days.”

Lily Babka led the offensive assault, crushing a three-run home run then following that up with an RBI inside-the-park home run to finish 2-for-3 at the plate.

Jadyn Hawley belted a three-run homer and a double while going 3-for-4 at the plate, while Lauren Wasson was also 3-for-4 and Ella Orr was 2-for-4 with a double. Gracie Schofield and Liza Hubbard each were 2-for-3 and Courtney Spriggs hit a double.

Sophomore ace Peyton Smith was more than effective at the plate, pitching a complete-game two-hitter while striking out six and walking one.

“She did really well,” Orr said. “She’s growing quickly.”

Orr also praised first-year player Hannah Robbins, who tried out for the team after a couple friends and teammates urged her to give it a try. Robbins started at right field the last two games and hit a double against Black Hills Tuesday.

“She’s a pretty amazing kid and athlete,” Orr said. “She picked up on this game that not many kids can do. Super proud and super thankful she took the chance on coming out. She’s going to be a good ballplayer if she sticks with it.”
Centralia improves to 1-6 and gets back on the diamond Friday when it hosts Aberdeen.

1A Fastpitch

Beavers Split With Grizzlies

Tenino 10-runned Hoquiam in game one for a 12-2 victory in six innings, then lost a fourth-inning lead in game two in a 7-5 loss, splitting a doubleheader with the Grizzlies at home on Tuesday.

In game one, Emily Baxter was masterful on the mound, fanning 13 batters and allowing just three hits in six innings.

“She was impressive again,” Tenino coach Chris Johnson said. “She pitched really well. One of her best overall games.”

Baxter was equally impressive at the plate, smashing two home runs to finish 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Courtney Backman, Abby Severse and Sierra Pogue each went 3-for-4 at the plate. Pogue also drove in three runs while Autumn Long had two RBIs.

Tenino lost a 4-2 lead heading into the fifth inning, then gave up four runs to Hoquiam and never recovered, taking a 7-5 loss to the Grizzlies at home on Tuesday.

Tenino ace Emily Baxter went the distance on the mound and finished with a game-high 11 strikeouts, but the Beavers couldn’t get the bats going in the final three innings to complete the comeback.

Junior Sierra Pogue led the Beavers offensively, going 3-for-3, while Kayla Feltus was 2-for-4 and Abby Severse and Alivia Hunter each walked twice.

Tenino improves to 2-5 and travels to Hoquiam for a rematch on Friday.

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