Washington fends off KnightsPublished 11:41pm Thursday, April 3, 2014
Following their first loss of the season at the hands of Beddingfield, the Pam Pack bounced back with a quality win Thursday night against Riverside, 7-2.
“We needed to get back in our game,” said manager Doug Whitehead. “Tonight, we had a couple two-out hits that scored runs. It was a great job all around. I’m very pleased with everything we did.”
For the sixth time this season in as many games, junior hurler Haley Hutchins got the call. The Pam Pack ace showcased her full arsenal of pitches early, keeping the ball low in the zone and relying on her defense to support her. With a healthy Adriana Tyson back at shortstop after playing most of the season at first, the infield got a much-needed boost and sparkled throughout the contest.
Hutchins silenced the Knights bats in the first two innings. She allowed just one weakly-hit infield single in the first and struck senior Emily Gurkin on three pitches in the second.
The dynamic Washington offense backed their starter with singles by Tyson and senior captain Kaylee Jackson that put the Pack up two runs early. Riverside starter Kailey Baker would settle down and pick up a few strikeouts down the stretch, but began to lose command of her fastball in the third inning.
The Knights’ sophomore walked Hutchins, who reached second on a wild pitch, and Tyson (intentionally) to lead off the third inning. A beautifully placed sacrifice bunt by junior Hailey Wright moved both runners up, and after Baker walked Jackson, her third of the inning, an error by the Knights second baseman on an untimely play at the plate scored a pair of runs for the Pack.
Pitching every inning for Washington this season, Hutchins was relieved by freshman Haley Harris in the fifth inning. Hutchins finished with three strikeouts.
In terms of pitch selection, Harris displayed similar stuff to her junior counterpart, but allowed a run to score via a walk, a wild pitch and an error. She managed to cap off her first high school inning with a strikeout.
The energetic freshman came out for the sixth and showed her youth, giving up back-to-back doubles and allowing a run with another wild pitch. However, she capped off the inning with two strikeouts.
While the future Washington starter would not need the extra run support, the Pam Pack tacked on another three runs in the bottom of the sixth. Harris helped her own cause by starting the inning off with a screaming double down the left field line, while Hutchens helped her protégée and followed suit two batters later with a double off the top of the wall – her second of the game.
Feeding off the energy, Harris came out in the bottom of the seventh and retired the Knights in order. She finished with four strikeouts.
The out-of-conference win improves the Pam Pack’s season record to 6-1. Washington will hit the road to face in-conference opponent North Pitt on Tuesday.