Friday’s College Softball: Blazers Lock Up Second Place on Sophomore Night
Long Ball: Dakota Brooks Belts Four Home Runs in Sweep of Mt. Hood
By Jordan Nailon
Dakota Brooks nearly stole the show here on Friday as she helped Centralia seal a second place finish in the NWAC South Conference with a pair of victories over Mt. Hood on sophomore night.
Brooks pitched a shutout in the first contest, which the Trailblazers won 8-0. She also re-entered to pitch in the second game to help preserve a 12-8 come from behind victory.
The sophomore from Pe Ell also had the hottest bat in the Blazers’ dugout as she belted four round-trippers on the day. She hit three home runs in the first game alone, including a walk-off to end the game early.
“I got a new bat today. It came this morning and I think it was just because my old bat was crap. I’m going to blame it on my bat,” noted Brooks after her big showing in the first game. “I got it from this guy named Joe. He’s my bat dealer. He’s a good guy to know.”
Brooks allowed two hits in the first game but didn’t notch any strikeouts. The Blazers defense played a big role in helping to preserve the shutout.
“I think our catcher, Carlson, two games back there in the heat she did a helluva job back there today,” said Centralia coach Kevin Slorey.
Britzy Hockett literally saved a run herself in the first contest when she went crashing into the outfield fence and snared what would have been a home run had she not stuck the landing and the catch.
“Anytime it touches her glove she thinks she should have it. She’s a competitor,” said Slorey.
Centralia fell behind early in the second contest when the Saints put up three runs in each of the first and third innings off of Blazers’ starter Jayden Shaughnessy.
The Blazers didn’t panic though and put up seven runs of their own in the bottom of the third inning to take the lead. It was an advantage they never gave back as they prevailed 12-8.
Hockett had four hits to lead Centralia in the second contest. Brooks added her fourth home run and Carlson also left the yard. Shelby Levang and Olivia Dean each added a pair of hits to the Blazers’ tally.
“We’ve been down 8, 10 runs and come back and won before. We’re never worried about being down 5, 6, 7 runs at all,” said Slorey. “I think it was just an overall team effort today. We played some great defense and this team always hits the ball.”
The wins lock up second place for Centralia in their conference and will help their RPI ranking for playoff seeding.
Slorey said he was happy to see his team do everything they could to end the regular season strong.
“I was worried that we might not be focused because of sophomore day. We didn’t look like we were necessarily ready to go, but we came ready to play,” Slorey explained. “This is the perfect time to peak. THe last two weeks we’ve been on a roll so we’ll just see if we can carry it over one more week and we’ll be looking good.”
Centralia’s sophomores include Skylar Olson, Jayden Benson, Brtizy Hockett, Dakota Brooks, Davanie Kleemeyer, Katie Gleasman and Shelby Levang.
Centralia will travel to Spokane next Friday to compete in the NWAC softball championship tournament.
BLAZERS 8, SAINTS 0 (6 inn.)
Mt. Hood 000 000 — 0 2 0
Centralia 204 011 — 8 13 0
Batteries: Mt. Hood — Pierce and Laine; Centralia — Dakota Brooks and Jamie Carlson
BLAZERS 12, SAINTS 8
Mt. Hood 303 002 0 — 8 10 4
Centralia 007 104 X — 12 13 2
Batteries: Mt. Hood — Wesley Wilson, Preston Ashley (2), Conner Weed (6) and Derek Chilcoate; Centralia — Jayden Shaughnessy, Dakota Brooks and Jamie Carlson