MONTESANO — A classic pitchers duel, followed by a blowout, left Montesano still unbeaten in Evergreen 1A League softball play.
It could be said that Madison Didion won the pitcher’s duel against Brook Goldsmith in the first game, because the Bulldogs edged the Eagles 1-0. However, the only run scored in the game was unearned, and Goldsmith allowed just three hits in the loss.
Montesano found a rhythm offensively in the nightcap and singled Elma to death. The Bulldogs recorded 14 hits — 13 of them singles — en route to an 11-2 win.
The Bulldogs improved to 10-0 in league and 13-4 overall. Elma slipped to 5-5 in league, 7-7 overall.
Montesano 1, Elma 0
Rayna Ashlock reached on a fielding error to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning for Montesano. Ashlock stole second base and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Kasie Kloempken.
With two outs in the inning and two strikes against her, Madi Studer slapped a soft line drive into left field. Ashlock scored from third base to put the Bulldogs up 1-0. That run proved to be the difference in the game.
Didion scattered six hits and two walks during her seven innings of work. Both bases on balls were intentional walks of Goldsmith.
Montesano shortstop Megan Choate stood out defensively. The junior made several challenging plays, including a great catch on a line drive by Sydney Smythe in the third inning that may have saved a run.
“It was our defense,” Montesano head coach Pat Pace said. “Madison placed the ball well, and (the Eagles) are good hitters. They made contact. They put the ball in play, and we had to back her up. The defense behind Madison really helped her in that first game. What probably saved us in that game was a catch that (Choate) made over third base. If that ball drops, they score a run and they’re still going.”
“We didn’t get timely hits together,” Elma head coach Janene Todd said. “We had some good hits. In the first game we had six hits and they had three, then they scored after an error. It’s just that timing.”
Goldsmith pitched all six innings for Elma (5-5, 7-7) and looked nearly unhittable for much of the game. The senior struck out eight batters and did not walk any.
Montesano 11, Elma 2
The Bulldogs settled this contest with a late outburst. It was tied 1-1 through three innings, with Goldsmith and Monte starter Staci Schneider each allowing two hits and a run to that point.
In the top of the fourth inning, the Bulldogs built their lead.
Mac Howard led off with an infield single, then advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Cheyann Bartlett.
The next three Bulldogs batters — Choate, Ashlock and Lyndsy Quinn— all delivered singles, with Quinn’s hit driving in Howard and Choate. Later in the inning, Ashlock scored on an infield hit by Studer. Quinn came home on a single by Schneider to give Montesano a 5-1 lead.
The Bulldogs scored six runs on six hits in the final three innings to cement the win.
“I think the biggest thing was that we focused a little more at the plate,” Pace said. “We let the pitch go that was coming it at the waist, then ended up coming in higher on us, the rise ball. We let that go. So, I think we were just more selective in the second game.”
Goldsmith scored both of Elma’s runs and was driven in by Izzy Cristelli both times.
In the first inning, Goldsmith hit a line drive into center field for a single, then scored on a double by Cristelli into the left-center field gap. In the fifth inning, Goldsmith hit a single and scored on a triple by Cristelli.
“We were completely flat the second game,” Todd said. “We haven’t learned how to play two full games back-to-back. When we get down, we get down. We haven’t quite figured out how to pick ourselves up. It’s disappointing. Our bats weren’t what they normally are. Normally we get back-to-back hits. We were just kind of flat.”
Both teams will be back in action on Thursday. The Bulldogs will travel to Rochester for another doubleheader. The Eagles will host Tenino in a doubleheader of their own.
Elma 000 000 0 – 0 6 1 Monte 000 010 X – 1 3 0
Goldsmith and Elliot; Didion and Kloempken.
RBI: Montesano – Studer. Two Hits: Elma – Elliot. Doubles: Elma – Goldsmth.
Winning pitcher —Didion (walked two; struck out four). Losing pitcher — Goldmsith (walked none; struck out eight).
Monte 100 413 2 – 11 14 1 Elma 100 010 0 – 2 6 2
Schneider, Didion (4) and Kloempkin; Goldsmith and Elliot
RBI: Elma – Cristelli 2; Montesano – Quinn 3, Schneider, Cavanah, Ashlock, Toyra, Studer. Two Hits: Elma – Goldsmith, Cristelli; Montesano – Schneider, Howard, Ashlock, Quinn, Toyra, Studer. Triples: Elma – Cristelli; Montesano – Quinn. Doubles: Elma – Cristelli.
Winning pitcher – Schneider (walked none; struck out four). Losing pitcher – Goldsmith (walked three; struck out three).