RICHLAND — College Place saw its first ever two day run at the Class 1A State Softball Tournament come to an end here at Columbia Play Fields in Saturday action.
The Hawks pounded out 13 hits and overcame four fielding errors to down Seattle Christian 13-4 in their morning opener.
Forks ended the Hawk run, one win away from the third-place game, as the Spartans led from the get-go and rolled into the battle for third with an 11-1 win to end the Hawk season.
“Obviously, it didn’t go the way we wanted,” Hawk coach Corey Davis said. “In the end, there are only two teams (the champion and the third place winner) that walk away winners. It is a hard way for the season to end. It’s just the finality of it all. It’s over.”
The sun, two Hawk errors, and the Warriors grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first inning of the first game. Three batters later, singles by Paris Orchard and Natalie Orchard, and a two-run single from Ellie Christensen and the Hawks were even.
Natalie Orchard drove one home in the Hawk second and appeared that she drove Susanna Bauman home also.
Bauman, in a slide at home plate, knocked the ball loose, but after a discussion, the ruling was that Bauman never got to home. 3-2 Hawks after two.
Natalie Orchard drove in another Hawk tally in the third. Jenna Mendoza drove in one and Alondra Gutierrez Velasco’s ground ball got another home to cap a four-run Hawk third and expand the lead to 7-2.
Mendoza’a double, Gabriella Sanchez’ RBI single, and Audrey Sanchez’ bunt got three more home in the Hawk fourth. The Hawks capped this one with three more, on one hit, in the fifth.
It was a little bumpy the rest of the way as the Warriors pounded out five hits over the last three innings, but Paris Orchard, in the Hawk circle, limited the damage to only one run as the Hawks moved to the consolation semifinals with the 13-4 win.
Paris and Natalie led the 13-hit Hawk attack with three each. Mendoza and Ellie Christensen chipped in two each.
“We hit the ball well,” Davis commented. “We made a few mistakes, but we were able to overcome them.”
The finale against Forks, which had just lost a championship semifinal to Castle Rock, 4-3, was a different story. Forks took advantage of two Hawk errors to score three in the first, and this time, the Hawks could not regroup.
Jayden Olson blasted a run-scoring triple, her first of three hits on the game, and Chloe Leverington collected her second of three hits, an RBI single, and the Spartans grabbed a 5-0 lead after two.
It was the top of the Spartan lineup, Rian Peters, Olson, and Leverington that did most of the Spartan damage. The top three went a combined 8-for-12 and scored eight runs.
The Hawks had no answer for Britney Dean, in the circle for Forks. The senior fireballer limited the Hawks to one run on five hits while striking out nine.
The Hawks scored their only run against Dean in the fourth on doubles from Mendoza and Gutierrez Velazco.
Paris Orchard with two hits, Mendoza, Gutierrez Velazco, and Gabrielle Sanchez collected the only Hawk hits.
“We kicked the ball around a lot (10 errors in the two games),” Davis summarized. “In the second game, we dug ourselves a hole we couldn’t recover from. Some of that was we were playing our fifth game in two days and we were mentally and physically exhausted, but we would’ve had to play lights out to stay with Forks.
“Last year, this type of game would have gotten completely out of hand,” Davis continued. “We still got thumped pretty good, but we kept battling and didn’t let it get completely away from us.”
The Hawks finish their 2019 state tourney run, their second in three years after a 1-2 record in 2017, with a 3-2 record.
“Winning one game at state validates your season,” Davis concluded. “To win three and play the opponents we played (2019 state champion Montesano, 2018 state champion Lakeside, and Forks), is incredible. Our kids represented our school and themselve quite well and should be proud of what they accomplished.”
The Hawks bid farewell to their two senior stalwarts, Paris Orchard and Jenna Mendoza, as both will move onto the collegiate ranks next season. Orchard at George Washington and Mendoza at Clark College. Orchard wrapped up her career with five hits Saturday, and Mendoza ripped three hits to cap her career.
“We will replace them, but those are awful big shoes to fill,” Davis said of his two seniors. “I can’t say enough about those two. They were not only great players but great leaders. Their teammates learned how to become a leader in sports and in life from watching them. Best kids I’ve ever had.”
The rest of the Hawks return for the 2020 campaign.
“I told them we will try to end here next year,” Davis concluded. “Only, maybe 45 minutes later.”
Hawks 13, Warriors 4
Potter and Clark; P. Orchard and N. Orchard.
HR — none.
Hits — SC: Clark, Royal, Moormeier 2, Glynn, Porter 2, Louie, Hall; CP: P. Orchard 3, N. Orchard 3, E. Christensen 2, Mendoza 2, G. Sanchez, H. Christensen, Bauman.
Spartans 11, Hawks 1
Dean and M. Rondeau; P. Orchard and N. Orchard.
HR — none.
Hits — Forks: Leverington 3, Olson 3, A. Rondeau 2, Peters 2; CP: P. Orchard 2, G. Sanchez, Mendoza, Gutierrez Velazco.