YAKIMA — Handed the No, 6 seed by the 2B softball state seeding committee, the Pe Ell-Willapa Valley had to survive a first-round loser-out game against No. 11 Kittitas to start play Friday, but once the Titans got going at the plate, that had little issue doing so in a 11-1 win in five innings.
“I think it was just the timing,” PWV coach Eric Hopfer said. “We were very antsy, we wanted to get rolling right off the bat.”
Instead, the Titans plated a single run in the bottom of the first inning, but that lone tally ended up being the only one on their line through three innings, and the Coyotes came back with an error-fueled rally to tie the game at 1-1.
Then fourth rolled along, and things changed.
“I think it was just settling down and saying, ‘Ok, I’m just going to sit back and hit this,’” Hopfer said.
It started with three walks in the bottom of the fourth, before Lauren Matlock brought the go-ahead run home on a groundout. Jillian Hodel made it 4-1 quickly with a two-run single, giving the Titans some insurance.
Then in the fifth, PWV really got going. Grace Huber led off with a single and got to third on an error and a passed ball, before Sophia Milanowski singled her home. Rilyn Channell and Loralei Smaciarz added back-to-back RBIs before Kittitas managed to record an out. Two batters later, Hodel drove two home on a triple, and Payton Peterson doubled Hodel home. That left the game to Huber, who blooped one last single in to score Peterson and give PWV the 10-run lead to end it.
Matlock, Hodel, Peterson, and Huber combined to go 9 for 16 in the top four spots in the order, with Hodel logging four RBIs by herself.
In the circle, Lauren Emery struck out 10 in the shortened complete game, allowing the one unearned run on three hits and two walks.
“She did really good out there,” Hopfer said.
PWV was set to take on No. 3 Okanogan in a quarterfinal matchup Friday afternoon, safely out of loser-out territory for the time being.