Kamiak rallies to beat Cascade in key Wesco 4A game

May 05, 2017
Photo by: David Pan Kamiak’s Haley Hoglund (10) is mobbed by her teammates after hitting a home run against Cascade Thursday, April 27, at Kamiak High School.

walk-off bunt by Kamiak’s Maddie Hanses helped score the tying and winning runs against Cascade in a key Wesco 4A softball game.

The Knights trailed 7-6 with runners on second and third with no outs in the bottom of the seventh.

Leadoff hitter Ella Dahl doubled to center field and then advanced to third base on a single to left field by Elaine Nikolaidis, who then stole second base.

Hanses laid down a bunt toward third base. The Bruin third baseman fielded the ball and threw the ball to first, but the off-target throw allowed the Knights to pull out the win.

Dahl easily scored and was followed Nikolaidis, as the Knights defeated the Bruins 8-7 Thursday, April 27, at Kamiak High School.

The victory kept Kamiak (5-5 in the league, 7-8 overall) in fifth place in the league, one game behind Glacier Peak (6-4, 7-6) and ahead of Mount Vernon (2-7, 5-9).

“This was a big game. We had to have this one,” Kamiak coach Ann Bradley said. “We have to take the next three games. This was one of the three I know we need to get to districts and to be in a place where I want to be seeded at districts.”

The top six teams advance to the district tournament set for May 15-18 at Phil Johnson Fields in Everett.

The Knights appeared to be on their way to an easier victory thanks to first baseman Haley Hoglund. The senior hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning to give Kamiak a 5-2 lead. Hoglund then hit an RBI double in the sixth to extend the Knights’ advantage to 6-3.

“Whenever I go up to the plate, I just think all I’ve got to do is hit and see the ball,” said Hoglund, who has hit three home runs this season.”

The Bruins (1-8, 2-10), however, stunned Kamiak in the top of the seventh by scoring four runs to take the lead.

Alison Jensen led off with a single and moved to second after Ariel Rogers walked. Rose Gonzalez then singled to load the bases. Kamiak’s Cecilia Robbins then struck out Danica Wood. Valerie Zaragoza singled to the shortstop to drive in Jensen. Nicole Holler grounded out to the second baseman to score Rogers. Elizhama Haney singled to third base, enabling Gonzalez to come home to tie the score at 6. Cathy Zaragoza gave the Bruins’ the lead with a single to left field to drive in Zaragoza.

“We were definitely worried in the seventh inning,” Hoglund said. “We were able to fight back, which was good. We just needed to stay focused and hit the ball.”

RBI hits by Robbins and Nikolaidis gave Kamiak a 2-0 lead before the Bruins rallied to tie the score. The Knights retook a 3-2 advantage in the fourth when Nikolaidis singled to center field to drive in Dahl, who had walked and stolen second base to lead off the inning.

Robbins pitched a complete game to pick up the victory. Bradley said that the junior pitcher was battling the flu this week.

“The thing I love about Cecilia is that she doesn’t give up,” Bradley said. “If the bases on loaded, it doesn’t rattle here.”

In the fourth, Cascade’s Zaragoza led off with a single and ended up on third following a passed ball and wild pitch. Robbins then buckled down and struck out the next two batters and ended the threat with a ground out.

“She knows what she has to do,” Bradley said. “A lot of times she made her own outs to make sure that the inning comes to an end.”

Kamiak ended the week with a 4-2 come-from-behind win over Mount Vernon on the road Friday, April 29. With the Knights trailing 2-0 in the top of the seventh, Jackie Rookaird and Robbins drove in runs in the top of the seven to tie the score. Greenfield and Rookaird hit back-to-back RBI doubles to give the Knights a 4-2 lead and eventually the win.

With the regular season wrapping up next week, Bradley wants to see her team attacking the ball on offense and cutting down on the defensive errors. Hoagland’s home run was much appreciated by Bradley, but she told her players that small ball wins game.

“It’s great if you hit a home run, but small ball, in my opinion, is what rattles a defense. That’s what they (Bruins) did to us. Small ball rattles. It also tightens up the pitcher. So I need them to keep working on the idea of small ball and moving the girls around and once they’re on base, being smart with their base running.”

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