Weekend College Softball: Blazers Fall in Extras to Finish Top 6 in NWAC
By The Chronicle
SPOKANE — After a false start to begin the tournament Centralia College seemed like they couldn’t lose here on Sunday, until they did. The Trailblazers defeated Olympic 2-1 and then burst by Lower Columbia 8-3 before falling to Walla Walla 4-3 in extra innings to end their season a few games short of their goal at the NWAC Championship Softball Tournament.
In their first game of the day Centralia rode a complete game effort in the pitchers circle from Dakota Brooks to outpace the Rangers. Brooks allowed zero earned runs while scattering five hits and striking out eight batters over seven innings.
The Blazers put their first run on the board in the third inning and doubled down with another run in the fourth inning. That proved to be all Brooks would need. The senior hurler helped herself out at the plate with a hit and a run batted in. Britzy Hockett added two hits and drove in the Blazers other run.
Olivia Dean led the Blazers with three hits, including a double. McKenna Smith added two hits to Centralia’s tally while Jamie Carlson, Shelby Levang and Alyssa Jorgensen all had one hit each to round out the Blazers’ offensive output.
Centralia faced a familiar foe in their second contest of the day when they squared off with Lower Columbia.
The Red Devils took a 1-0 lead in the first inning but the Blazers got loose for five runs in the fifth inning and backed that outburst up with a three spot in the sixth inning to pad their cushion.
Katie Gleasman got the party started for the Blazers with a home run to lead off the fifth inning. Olivia Dean later singled to score Jayden Benson and Alyssa Jorgensen. Later in the inning Brooks singled to score Dean and Hockett.
In the sixth inning Benson smacked a double to score Levang and Olson before Hockett ripped a double of her own to bring home Benson. Dean, Benson, and Brooks all finished the game with two RBI to their credit.
Jaedyn Shaughnessy pitched all seven innings for the Blazers and allowed three earned runs on six hits while fanning three Red Devils. Trailing by seven runs heading into the final frame Lower Columbia notched a two-run home run before Shaughnessy slammed the door on their season.
In their final game Centralia squared off with the Warriors of Walla Walla. The Blazers trailed 3-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning but they rallied to score a run that pushed the game into extra innings.
Dakota Brooks pitched all eight innings for the Blazers and allowed four runs while striking out four Warriors.
Walla Walla went up 1-0 in the top of the third inning but a single by Brooks in the bottom half of the inning scored both Hockett and Jorgensen to put the Blazers on top for a time. In the fifth inning, though, the Warriors scored two runs of their own to take a 3-2 lead.
Facing what would have been their final three outs of the season Centralia found a way to extend the game when Benson singled to bring home Levang and tie the game at 3-3.
However, Centralia’s page turning tale finished without a storybook ending when the Warriors plated a run in the top of the eighth and the Blazers were unable to answer back in their final at bats of the season.
Hockett led Centralia with two hits in the game. Brooks and Benson each had one hit and a RBI while Levang legged out a triple. Olivia Dean was the only other Blazer to notch a hit in their final game.
Centralia finished their season with an overall record of 30-13. They were one of the final six teams in the NWAC tournament.
Centralia Escapes ‘Survival Saturday’ at NWAC Championships
SPOKANE — The Trailblazers had their backs against the wall here on Saturday after dropping their opening game of the NWAC Softball Championship Tournament by a score of 13-8 to Clackamas. However, Centralia College was able to keep their hopes of bringing home a trophy alive when they defeated Southwest Oregon 9-1 later in the day.
In their opening contest the Blazers were outhit 17-10 by the Cougars. Four errors on the Centralia defense only made matters worse. Dakota Brooks started in the circle for the Blazers before handing the ball over to Jaedyn Shaughnessy in the fourth inning. Shaughnessy finished the game with three strikeouts to her credit in 3 ⅓ innings of work.
The Blazers staked out a 2-0 lead in the first inning before falling behind 4-2 in the top of the second frame. Centralia tied the game up at 4-4 in the bottom half of the second but Clackamas added two runs in the third and fourth innings before putting five runs on the board in the fifth inning to put the Blazers in a hole too big to climb out of.
Shaughnessy tried to help out at the plate with a pair of doubles and two RBI in the game. Catcher Jamie Carlson added two home runs and four RBI while Alyssa Jorgensen tallied a home run and two RBI. Britzy Hockett and Jayden Benson each legged out doubles for the Blazers while Brooks tallied two hits in three at bats in an ill-fated effort to help her own cause.
Facing elimination later in the day Centralia rebounded to defeat the Lakers 9-1 in a five inning affair.
Brooks headed back to the pitchers circle against Southwest Oregon and struck out eight Lakers while allowing three hits and just one run in the mercy-rule shortened affair.
With their ace toeing the rubber the Blazers’ offense eagerly went to work. Centralia posted two runs in the first inning, six runs in the second, and another run in the third inning. Carlson launched a home run and drove in three runs in the game. Brooks added a pair of RBI in order to help secure the win. Hockett swatted two hits, including a double, and drove in a run for Centralia while Skylar Olson notched two hits and two RBI. McKenna Smith added a RBI that helped the Blazers end the game early.
WARRIORS 4, BLAZERS 3 (8 inn.)
Walla Walla 001 020 01 — 4 11 4
Centralia 002 000 10 — 3 6 2
Batteries: Walla Walla — Abby Giles and Ashton Buffo; Centralia — Dakota Brooks and Jamie Carlson
BLAZERS 8, RED DEVILS 3
Lower Columbia 010 000 2 — 3 6 0
Centralia 000 053 X — 8 9 0
Batteries: Lower Columbia — Nizhoni Wheeler and Laura Lunt; Centralia — Jaedyn Shaughnessy and Jamie Carlson
BLAZERS 2, RANGERS 1
Olympic 000 001 0 — 1 5 0
Centralia 001 100 X — 2 11 1
Batteries: Olympic — Kyler Tsukada, Emily Tuffey (4) and ; Centralia — Dakota Brooks and Jamie Carlson
COUGARS 13, BLAZERS 8
Clackamas 042 250 0 — 13 17 0
Centralia 220 020 2 — 8 10 4
Batteries: Clackamas — Sammie Brauckmiller, Miranda Jensen (7) and Natalie Munson; Centralia — Dakota Brooks, Jaedyn Shaughnessy (4) and Jamie Carlson
BLAZERS 9, LAKERS 1 (5 inn.)
SW Oregon 000 10 — 1 3 0
Centralia 261 0X — 9 7 1
Batteries: SW Oregon— Ali Jennings and Ashley Bonham; Centralia — Dakota Brooks and Jamie Carlson