Inchelium softball splits in first week of regionals; still vying for spot in 1B state tournament for second consecutive season
SPOKANE – One walk was all that was allowed.
Colville tribal member Meika Heath of Inchelium came out firing.
The senior pitched a complete game shutout against Sunnyside Christian, helping the Lady Hornets to a 11-0 win on Friday afternoon in the first round of the Regional 5/6 and 7/9 softball tournament at the Dwight Merkel Softball Fields in Spokane.
“Winning that first game against Sunnyside was amazing,” said Heath. “To come out and play together and shut them down, it was good for us.”
Inchelium scored a run in the first inning and tacked on two more in the bottom of the third to go up 3-0.
The Lady Hornets would score three more runs in the fourth (6-0) and would pile on five more runs in the fifth to win 11-0.
“We got off to a slow start hitting but we made some adjustments and got it done,” Said Guy Stensgar, a Colville tribal member and head coach for Inchelium. “Our defense was good against Sunnyside and Meika pitched a really good game.”
After beating Sunnyside Christian, Heath would get the start in the second game, as Inchelium would face a much stronger Colton squad in the semifinals.
The Lady Hornets jumped out to a early 1-0 lead after the first inning and held a 2-1 lead after the second, but that would be the last time they found themselves ahead.
Colton would score three runs in the top of the third to take a 4-2 lead and would pile on five more runs in the fourth to go up 9-2.
Inchelium tacked on a run in the bottom of the fourth (9-3) and sixth inning (11-4) but it wouldn’t be enough to overcome the setbacks along the way.
Colton would go on to win 12-4 over on Friday evening, knocking Inchelium to the consolation bracket.
“We committed six errors against Colton and that makes it tough to win,” said Stensgar. Colton committed two errors during the game.
Colton dished out 14 hits to Inchelium’s six.
“We’ve had our ups and downs but we always come back together as a team and handle business,” said Heath.
Inchelium will play Garfield-Palouse this Friday at 4:00 p.m. at Spokane’s Franklin Park Fields in a loser-out winner-to-state format.
“This Friday we want to get going early with our bats,” said Stensgar. “Also to get our defense back on track.”
Colton will meet A.C.H. in the regional championship next Friday as both squads have already locked up a berth to state. If Inchelium wins, they will clench a second consecutive trip to the WIAA tournament.
“The season has gone good so far,” said Stensgar. “I’ve seen a lot of improvement in our league, and our success last year put a target on us. It seems everyone brought their A game against us."