All it took was seven innings for Hermiston’s softball team to add two more Mid-Columbia Conference wins to their record.
On Friday, the Bulldogs enacted the WIAA’s 15-run rule twice in a row, ending game one against the visiting Pasco Bulldogs 18-2 in four innings, and game two with a 15-0 shutout in three.
The wins follow Tuesday’s doubleheader losses at Kennewick.
“It’s exciting,” coach Kate Greenough said of her team’s back-to-back blowouts. “After Tuesday, it was nice to score some runs and hold down our defense.”
Pasco opened the first game with an early 1-0 lead, but Hermiston was quick to respond, posting four runs at the bottom of the first to stay out front for good.
Bailee Noland, who would not be denied at the plate, hit a two-RBI single in the first inning, and followed that with a grand slam at her next at-bat. She hit a perfect 3 for 3 with three runs and seven RBIs scored.
Hermiston also took advantage of Pasco’s defensive weaknesses, stealing 18 bases in the first game alone. And Pasco pitcher Brizeida Quiroz, who gave up 18 runs on 11 hits and nine walks, couldn’t manage a strikeout.
“That really helped us,” Noland said of Pasco’s pitching. “Our team is used to seeing higher-speed pitching, and a lot of change-ups. We jumped on their straight-up fastballs today.”
Noland hit an RBI-double in the bottom of the third to aid in a five-run streak. Ashley Cameron hit one of her own in the fourth to wrap the game up. The double solidified her perfect batting performance, where she hit 2 for 2 with three runs and three RBIs.
The Dawgs sent 12 batters to the plate in the second inning of game two, resulting in eight runs, half of which came before Pasco put an out on the board.
Noland, Sydney Stefani, Daisy Maddox, Grace Studer, and Brecella Nash all scored on wild pitches from Pasco’s Andrea Gonzalez, who surrendered 15 runs on just three hits, walked seven, and didn’t bench a single Hermiston batter.
“Pasco is a pretty inexperienced team,” Greenough said. “But no matter how a team looks on paper, you have to give every game your best effort.”
Maddox’s two-RBI double in the bottom of the third drove in Cameron and Noland to call the game in three innings.
“The girls were really aggressive today,” Greenough said. “They worked hard. They deserved this win.”
Noland drove in two on a double for her game’s only at-bat. She, Stefani, Maddox, and Samantha Atilano each scored two runs. Cameron had three.
The No. 3 Bulldogs (9-3, 7-3 MCC) travel to the No. 2-ranked Chiawana Riverhawks on Tuesday for more league action. First pitch is at 4 p.m.
The Hermiston Bulldogs remain at the bottom of the Mid-Columbia Conference standings after Friday’s back-to-back home losses at the hands of the Kennewick Lions.
The MCC’s No. 3 team turned Hermiston away with 7-4 and 10-2 losses at Armand Larive.
Easton Stevens got the Lions on the scoreboard at the top of the second inning, and Cody LaFontaine and Jackson Lind scored on errors during the following two plays.
Trevor Wagner drove Wyatt Noland and Ethin Randolph in on an RBI-single at the bottom of the seventh, but it would not be enough to recover the game.
Seth Prewitt allowed sevens runs on eight hits and six walks over seven innings on Hermiston’s mound. Seth Prewitt and Landon Jones each hit 2 for 4 with a run scored.
In game two, it would take both teams two innings to finally break out the bats. In the top of the third, Tim Gee doubled on a line drive to center field to drive in Kaleb Stevenson.
The Bulldogs responded with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning with Noland’s RBI-single.
But the Lions were relentless, scoring four more runs at the top of the fourth and a game-ending, five-run sixth inning. Stevenson, Gee, Stevens, and LaFontaine all drove in runs to bury the Bulldogs.
It took three Hermiston pitchers to contain Kennewick in game two. Jordan Ramirez opened the game, and let slip five runs, five hits, and three walks across 3 1/3 innings. Spencer Juul threw 1 2/3 innings of relief, but gave up five more runs. Randolph closed the game from the Bulldogs’ mound.
Ramirez led the Bulldogs’ offense, batting 1 for 3 with a run scored.
Hermiston (1-13) stays at home for a conference doubleheader against Hanford on Friday. Game time is at 4 p.m.