KITTITAS – The Pateros softball team had a unique season.
Pateros, competing in Washington’s small school 1B classifications, had to play a bulk of their games against 2B schools from the Central Washington 2B League. This included schools such as Lake Roosevelt, Oroville, Liberty Bell, Brewster, Soap Lake, Waterville and Tonasket.
“We play in a 2B league,” said John Slater, head coach for Pateros. “Playing up against the top competition always helps.“
Due to their geographic location and the fact that no other 1B schools in a 50-mile vicinity had a softball team this past spring, the Nannies were forced to play all non-league games.
Pateros went 7-7 against 2B schools from the CWA2B and they would have placed fifth or sixth in the league if they were a 2B.
They hadn’t played a 1B school they whole season until they would meet up with Sunnyside Christian in the first round of the in the District 5/6 tournament, held the at Kittitas High School softball fields on Thursday.
As the winds reached 30 plus mile per hour, Pateros wasn’t too bothered as they scored the games opening run in the top of the second inning, taking a 1-0 lead early on.
However, Sunnyside Christian would respond as they scored five runs in the bottom of the second (5-1) and four more in the third to build a 9-1 advantage after the third.
The Nannies chipped away at the lead, scoring a run in the fourth (9- 2), two more in the fifth (9-4) and another in the sixth to make it a 10-5 deficit.
But that would be the closest Pateros would get as Sunnyside Christian would hold on for 10-5 win on Thursday evening, eliminating the Nannies from postseason action.
It was actually a pretty good season. It just wasn’t our day today,” said Aleeka Miller-Smith, a Colville tribal member from Pateros.
“We had a good season,” said Slater. “I’m extremely proud of the girls this year, they did extremely well.”
“Just too many mistakes today, can’t give a team like that too many extra outs, we were extras aggressive in the box and that’s all we can ask for.“
Slater will have a bulk of his squad back next year with standout player Miller-Smith back for her junior and senior seasons.
“She’s an athlete,” said Slater. “Aleeka is an athlete. “She can play well wherever we put her. She plays tennis too, she’s doing a dual sport and I had to share her with tennis.”
Pateros ends the year at 10-7 as they lose four seniors from this year’s squad.
“I still got the core coming back,” Slater said. “We’re going to be ok.”
Sunnyside Christian with the win advances on to play Inchelium in the first round of the Regional tournament at the Dwight Merkel Fields on Friday at 4 p.m.