Both head coaches came to essentially the same conclusion after University’s 12-8 softball win over Mead on Tuesday.
“You can only give them three outs and teams should only give us three and if you don’t good teams are going to make you pay,” Titans coach Jon Schuh said. “They hurt us a couple times when we made mistakes and we made it hurt when they made mistakes. Both of us have to play better defense.”
The view from Mead’s dugout was similar. It started early with U-Hi taking advantage of two Panthers errors to score three runs in the top of the first.
“The key to beating them is not making mistakes and keeping them off the bases,” Mead coach John Barrington said. “I felt like we opened the door. You have to make outs and we gave them four or five outs a couple innings in a row.”
The Titans boomed four extra-base hits, delivered a few more timely hits than the Panthers and played a little cleaner in the field. That combination helped U-Hi (8-1) forge a tie in the loss column with the Panthers (9-1) at the top of the Greater Spokane League standings with the second half of the league season on deck. North Central (5-4) is in third place.
Mead erased U-Hi’s early lead with a run in the first and three in the second, the last two coming home on Jill Pecka’s single.
The Titans responded with a four-run third. Jordan Schmerer singled to center and Devynne Johnson reached on a slow roller to third. Breann Warren hit a two-run triple to center and scored on Hailey Wesselman’s sacrifice fly. The Titans weren’t done as Ashley Moon, who reached first after a third strike skipped past the catcher, eventually scored when shortstop Regin Gallagher couldn’t quite haul in Jessica Moon’s blooper in shallow left.
U-Hi added another run in the fourth. With two outs, Johnson hit a foul pop near the fence behind home plate and the ball glanced off the mitt of catcher Kristi McGowan. Johnson singled on the next pitch and scored on the first of Alene Bethel’s two doubles. Pecka made a diving catch in center to prevent another U-Hi run.
Mead closed within 8-6 in the fifth on Kaitlyn Huggins’ sacrifice fly, but the Titans answered with four runs in the top of the sixth. Bethel drove in two with another double, Ashley Moon had an RBI double and Wesselman singled in the fourth run.
Mikayla Adams’ two-run single in the sixth cut U-Hi’s lead to 12-8. Titans freshman pitcher Brittany Hecker closed the door with help from a game-ending double play.
“The top of the order helped us tremendously, but we cannot continue to put that much pressure on them,” Schuh said. “We have to pitch better and we have to play defense. We’re a work in progress.”
Central Valley 5, Mt. Spokane 4 (10): Hailey House drove in the go-ahead run, scoring McKenzie Shea in the top of the 10th inning and the Bears (4-5) outlasted the Wildcats (4-5) at Mt. Spokane.
North Central 11, Lewis and Clark 5: Danielle Devleming, Kat Lively and Kilee Brown each tallied three hits and combined to score six runs for the Indians (5-4) in their win over the host Tigers (3-6) at Hart Field.
East Valley 4, Gonzaga Prep 3: Tiffany Lucas struck out 11 while allowing three runs on four hits and added two hits at the plate to lead the Knights (3-6) over the visiting Bullpups (4-5).
Rogers 7, Shadle Park 3: Sydney Roberts was 2 for 3 with a double as the Pirates (3-6) edged the Highlanders (4-5) at Rogers.
Coeur d’Alene vs. Post Falls: The game between the Vikings (11-2, 1-1) and Trojans (7-3, 2-2) was postponed by rain. No make-up date has been set.
Lakeland 7-9, Sandpoint 1-2: Alyana Watson scored four runs on five hits and stole three bases to lead the Hawks (5-4, 2-0) in their sweep over the Bulldogs (3-8, 0-2) in Sandpoint.
Kellogg 11, Bonners Ferry 3: Tarah Ivie had three hits and two RBIs, Michaela Stewart allowed six hits and no earned runs with eight strikeouts and the Wildcats (4-3, 3-2) upended the Badgers in BF.