PENDLETON - Blue Mountain softball coach Tom Bequette said he would understand if he found himself out of a job after his team fizzled in a split with Yakima Valley to open NWAACC-East play.
"If I was the A.D. I would fire me," he said after his team lost the second game 2-1 on the heels of a win by the same score. "Our girls didn't bring their practice into the game ... and we just made that team's day."
"I just don't think a lot of us came focused and ready to play," said freshman Amy Greenough, who pitched two complete games Friday. "If we look ahead it either made us or broke us. If it comes down to it in the end this game could have put us in fourth place or fifth place."
The T-Wolves (4-2, 1-1 NWAACC-E) left the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning of their loss and gave Yakima pitcher Samantha Smith her first win of the season in what also was her first game of the season due to academic ineligibility.
"We are elated," said Yakima coach Chuck Bodeen, who has seen his team lose games by scores of 31-0, 19-2 and 16-2 this season. "We were beat up. We got three girls eligible to play (Friday) that hadn't played all season. (Blue Mountain) is a good team and to get two 2-1 ball games, we played well and I'm absolutely elated."
The T-Wolves led 1-0 after four in the second game. Candice Castro led the inning off with a double and was moved to third on an Ashley Brandsen sacrifice bunt. Then a Sarah Weekes grounder bounced off the heel of Yakima third baseman Kaley Sherwood's glove to score Castro.
The T-Wolves stranded Courtney Hancock on second base in the fifth and all it took was a momentary lapse of focus for the Yaks (4-9, 1-1 NWAACC-E) to take the lead in the sixth.
Catcher Daniela Villegas took first on a check-swing Texas leaguer to center field with one out and scored when Blue Mountain third baseman Athena Rosario overthrew first base on the next play.
Then Shalene Scott hit the Yaks' only extra-base hit of the day with a run-scoring double to the fence in right center.
The T-Wolves looked poised to pull out the win in the seventh, though.
After two outs started the inning, first baseman Kami Elliott gave the T-Wolves a gasp of air with a bloop single, which was followed by an Ana Rockstrom walk.
After fouling off her first three offerings, Hancock connected on a line drive to center field that wasn't deep enough to send the runner from second but loaded the bases.
In the T-Wolves next at-bat, Rosario went up 3-0 but then watched two strikes to make the count full. She fouled off the next pitch and then popped out to first to end the game.
"When a pitcher is throwing junk and an umpire is tightening the zone up, it was there for us," Bequette said. "That's what hurts. It's one thing to get your tails kicked ad it's another thing to hand your tail and say kick me."
"Any team, there's bases loaded, you've got to get it on the ground somewhere," Greenough said. "Even with two outs you've got to come through as a team."
Greenough recorded nine strikeouts and allowed no walks in the loss after a one-strikeout, no walk performance in the win.
"The first game I didn't feel like I really stepped it up for my team but the second game I came in with a lot more enthusiasm and got things going until the sixth inning," she said.
Castro proved the loan bright spot at the plate, hitting a double and scoring a run in each game and finishing 3 for 6 on the day.
The T-Wolves will get a chance to redeem themselves today with a doubleheader against Wenatchee that starts at noon in Pendleton..