A bit of the bizarre, coupled with a late rally, factored in during an Inland Empire League softball split between rivals Lake City and Coeur d’Alene.
Timberwolves pitching standout Lela Work was in the middle of it all.
Visiting Lake City won the opener 4-0 behind Work, who allowed just two base runners, both on hits, and retired 21 of the last 22 she faced.
She also was involved in an oddity, hitting into an apparent inning-ending double play, but a run scored when Vikings shortstop Jessica Kraft’s relay to first base after stepping on second for an out ricocheted off base runner Katie Rowe’s helmet.
“In my 30-plus years of coaching, I’ve never seen such an incorrect call,” CdA coach Larry Bieber said. “Obviously, she was in the way and that’s obstruction.”
Work pitched four more scoreless innings and doubled home the initial run in Game 2. But Lake City blew a 5-0 lead and Coeur d’Alene rallied late for the 6-5 win.
The loss was the first this year in the IEL for the Timberwolves (15-2, 9-1) with six games to play. The Vikings (10-7, 4-6) did not gain or lose ground.
“I expect when you play a good team they’ll start hitting her,” Lake City coach Laura Tolzmann said. “We just got comfortable with the 5-0 lead and a good team’s going to answer back.”
Vikings pitcher Amber Coburn, who suffered the first-game loss, came on in relief in Game 2. After an adjustment period, she allowed only three more base runners in the game’s final five innings, retiring 15 of the 17 she faced.
“I think Lela got a little tired,” Bieber said. “When they started hitting (Kathy Comack), I brought Amber back and she held the fort down.”
The first-inning run in the first game held into the fifth until Rowe doubled home two runs, hitting a changeup into the gap between left and center field. Three soft singles over the infield and a grounder produced the final Timberwolves run in the seventh.
Following Work’s RBI in Game 2, Lake City added four more runs in the third, including a two-run triple by lefty catcher Jessica Ross. Ross also had three hits in the first game, batting second. On the day, the first three batters in the lineup – Jamie Hall, Ross and Rowe – contributed eight hits, eight runs and five RBIs.
But the game turned and the Vikings salvaged the split. They scored a seemingly harmless run in the fifth to end Work’s shutout bid. The bottom two batters in the order, Hailey Petit and Jessica Eppers, cut the deficit to a run with an RBI single and two-run double, respectively.
In the seventh, doubles by Comack and Kraft and a hard grounder to the right side by Jessica Dotts ended the game.
•Also in the IEL: Lake City maintained its three-game lead with five remaining in the IEL when Post Falls (15-4, 7-4) and Lewiston (12-6, 7-6) split. The host Trojans won 4-3 in eight innings during Game 1 when Bri Joseph doubled to tie the game and scored on a passed ball. Blake Meredith fanned 11 and walked one. In Game 2, Bengals pitcher Jessica Ulrich singled in the go-ahead run during a 5-4 win. Meredith had three hits, all of them doubles and Richelle Ashburn was 3 for 4 with three RBIs.
•Greater Spokane League: University (11-1) maintained a one-game lead over Mead and Central Valley with 23-5 romp at Rogers (1-10). Shaina Marvel hit two doubles and drove in four runs. Dakota Schiermeister was 4 for 4, scoring twice and driving in three and Ashley Moon had three hits. … CV (10-2) blanked host Lewis and Clark (3-9) 6-2 on Alyssa Erickson’s two-hitter at Hart Field. Alexa Morales was 4 for 4 and Chrystal Holt 3 for 4. … The Panthers (10-2) won at Gonzaga Prep (3-9) 9-3, with Alisha Meade carrying a no-hitter into the fifth inning. … At East Valley (6-6), Morgan Manchester homered in the first inning and hit a two-run double in the fourth of the Knights’ 6-0 win over Ferris (3-9). Freshman Tiffany Lewis threw an 11-strikeout two-hitter and hit a two-run double in the first. … Shadle Park (8-4) blanked North Central (4-8) 7-0 at home. Haylee Cushner hurled the shutout and was 3 for 4, scoring twice and driving in a run.
•Intermountain League: A two-run seventh inning lifted second-place St. Maries (7-2) past host Priest River 4-3. Tia Asbury tripled in the seventh and scored on Amber Hammons’ hit. Hammons ultimately scored on an error.
GSL: Ferris (8-6) jumped on visiting Central Valley early with a four-run first inning and went on to a 13-4 victory over the Bears (11-3). Keller Ewing was 4 for 4 with a solo home run and four RBIs. Ben Goodwin added a three-run homer and Aaron Roberts added a two-run blast. … League-leading University (11-1) belted host North Central (1-11) 14-0 as Michael Holmes started things with a two-run homer in the first inning. Billy Moon had two triples among three hits and drove in four runs. Ian Craig-Scott had three hits to back Austin Peasley’s 10-strikeout complete game. … Mead (10-2) kept pace with an 8-3 win over visiting Gonzaga Prep (6-6). Andy Larson was 3 for 3, scoring twice, and Grant Fink went 2 for 4. … Mt. Spokane (9-5) moved into fourth place with a 9-2 win at East Valley (4-8). Ryne Leonard allowed four hits over six innings and T.J. Jackson hit a two-run homer in the sixth. He finished with two hits and three RBIs. … Shadle Park (5-9) won 5-2 at home over Rogers (0-12). Casey Sargent was 2 for 4 with a two-run triple in the bottom of the fifth inning. Danny Rowton went 2 for 2 and scored three times.
•IEL: J.J. Turbin drove in seven runs, including a grand slam, and pitched Coeur d’Alene (14-6, 9-3) to a 16-4 five-inning win over visiting Lake City (7-9, 3-7). The Vikings had six successive hits, four of them doubles, following Turbin’s groundout before he cleared the bases in his second at-bat during an eight-run first inning. … League-leading Lewiston (14-3, 11-2) swept a doubleheader at Post Falls (5-12, 2-9), 8-2 and 12-1. Zane Hobart hit a three-run homer in the fifth inning of Game 1 and the Bengals scored seven runs in the fourth inning, keyed by John Rogers’ two-run double. Zach Holley and Tim Laney each had two hits.
•Intermountain League: Priest River defeated St. Maries 11-2 as pitcher Kyle Bradbury struck out 11 of 12 batters in four innings. Chad Young hit a three-run triple and Matt Collins a two-run single in the first inning. In the completion of a suspended game beginning in the fourth, St. Maries scored in the bottom of the seventh to win 8-7. …Bonners Ferry swept visiting Kellogg 10-5 and 11-4. Casey Nelson went 5 for 7 with five RBIs. C.J. Erickson hit a two-run single in the first game and a solo home run in the second.
Great Northern League: Visiting Riverside (3-6) shocked Pullman (7-2) 2-1 to knock the Greyhounds from a share of first place. The Rams got second-half goals from Alex Ferraro and Joey Nyberg seven minutes apart. … The upset left Cheney (8-1) alone in first place following a 4-0 victory at West Valley (5-4). Grady Earlly scored in the first half and also 5 minutes into the second. Alex Adams had three assists.… Clarkston (5-4) continue its breakthrough season, beating Deer Park (3-6) 2-1 at home. … Medical Lake (5-4) blanked visiting Colville (0-9) 4-0. John Daniels scored the winner. Petra Lee added two late goals.
Track and field
Intermountain League: The host Timberlake boys and girls swept Kellogg and St. Maries at Spirit Lake. The boys won 107-39 over Kellogg and 127-19 over St. Maries. The Tigers girls won 120.33-24.66 and 114-28, respectively.