Saturday’s College Softball: Blazers Get Off the Schneid Against Walla Walla

Flashing Leather: Defense Helps Centralia College End Eight-Game Skid

By Jordan Nailon / jnailon@chronline.com

The payoff didn’t come right away but by the end of the day the Trailblazers were finally smiling again.

Centralia College entered Saturday toting a seven-game losing streak as they saddled up for a non-conference softball doubleheader with Walla Walla. The Warriors were able to claim Game 1 by a score of 7-4 before the Blazers got back in the winner’s column with a 10-2 victory in Game 2.

Centralia held a 3-1 advantage after the first inning of play thanks to a three-run home run by Dakota Brooks. However, the Warriors answered right back by scoring two runs in three straight innings to run up a six-run advantage. The Blazers added a run in bottom of the fourth inning but it was too little, too late.

Britzy Hockett was the only Centralia player with two hits in the first contest and the home team was held to just six hits in total. Shelby Levang added a double and a RBI for the Trailblazers.

Coming off a stinging string of league losses, that opening result was not a particularly easy pill to swallow for the Blazers. To their credit, though, Centralia was able to hang tough and ultimately found the success they’d been seeking in the second game.

“I think we responded well. They played like we wanted to get the monkey off our back,” said Centralia coach Kevin Slorey. “They rebound pretty well. We’ve had several times where we’ve been down and came back and won. Our problem is sometimes it takes us awhile to get going and by the fifth inning we decide it’s time to start playing and if it’s too big of a hole we can’t overcome it.”

In Game 2, the Blazers wasted little time in letting their offense bark with two runs in the first inning and a five-spot in the second frame. Centralia then added a run in the third and two more runs in the fourth inning in order to push their tally into double digits.

The Blazers collected 10 hits in the game to fuel their trips around the bases, including a three-run home run by Olivia Dean in the second inning. Dean finished with two hits in the game, as did Hockett and Brooks. Levang added a double and three RBI, while Jamie Carlson and Alyssa Jorgensen drove in a run each.

Slorey was excited to see seven batters in the hit column.

“We’ve been kind of like this (roller-coaster motion),” explained Slorey. “We haven’t been able to get everybody hitting. We’ll have two or three that are (hitting well) and then three or four that aren’t.”

After relieving Brooks on the mound in the fifth inning of the first contest Jaedyn Shaughnessy spun a complete game in the second affair. She finished the follow up game with three strikeouts while allowing only four hits and two earned runs.

“We were going to switch (pitchers) depending on how things were going but she got the job done so we didn’t have to,” noted Slorey.

Slorey noted that both Dean and Levang turned in stellar play on defense in order to help carry the Blazers to the much needed victory.

“Our problem has been that we are just walking too many batters. We’ve been scoring a ton of runs if you’ve noticed and our defense has been solid. We don’t make many errors but you can’t do anything about walks,” said Slorey.

Centralia (14-11, 8-7 league) will host Chemeketa for a league doubleheader on Saturday.

At Centralia

Game 1

WARRIORS 7, BLAZERS 4

Walla Walla 122 200 0 — 7 7 0

Centralia 300 100 0 — 4 6 1

Batteries: Walla Walla —Abbie Giles and Ashton Buffo; Centralia — Dakota Brooks and Jamie Carlson

Game 2

BLAZERS 10, WARRIORS 2 (5 inn.)

Walla Walla 001 10 — 2 4 1

Centralia 251 2X — 10 10 1

Batteries: Walla Walla — Courtney Call, Abbie Miller (4) and Ashton Buffo and Makinley Miller (4); Centralia — Jaedyn Shaughnessy and Jamie Carlson

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