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Solid win: Mavs take down Walla Walla 13-2

by IAN BIVONA
Sports Reporter | April 13, 2024 12:04 PM

MOSES LAKE — A seven-run bottom of the fourth inning gave Moses Lake a double-digit run lead over visiting Walla Walla on Friday afternoon, ending the game in the fifth inning with a 13-2 Maverick victory.

Moses Lake improved to 11-0 with the win over the Blue Devils.

“We had a good week of practice and got to work on a lot of things,” Moses Lake head coach Mike Hofheins said. “Got to see them execute it. I’m super proud of our defense today. Obviously, our pitching was spot on, but we played good defense and executed a couple of things we’ve been working on in practice.”

Walla Walla opened the game by scoring their two runs of the game in the top of the first inning — an inning where they recorded five of their six hits on the day. Junior Paige Richardson closed out the inning by striking out the last two batters.

“We took their best punch, and we talked about that the other day; when you’re undefeated and you’re a good team, teams are going to come and they have nothing to lose, so you’re going to get their best punch,” Mike Hofheins said. “We took it, and we punched back, and punched back and punched back. That’s what good teams do.”

Moses Lake got a run back in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI by senior Kendall Reffett, sending home senior Raegen Hofheins. In the bottom of the second, the Mavs took the lead for good on a three-RBI double by Raegen Hofheins. 

Senior Mikayla Schwartz added another run in the next at-bat, delivering an RBI single to put Moses Lake up 5-2.

“I had one pitch that was a super high strike, and I was like, ‘Woah!’” Raegen Hofheins said. “I think it was the next (pitch) that I felt pretty good about, and I swung.”

Senior Trinity Nations drove in a run in the bottom of the third, and after the Mavs kept Walla Walla scoreless in the top of the fourth, Schwartz led off the bottom of the fourth with a double to jumpstart the offense.

“I think it just got us all pretty hyped up,” Schwartz said. “It got us going, a good leadoff hit.”

Schwartz, Richardson, sophomore Caitlin Decubber and Hofheins all scored off of errors, and freshman Amelia Avalos, senior Emmie Olsen, Hofheins and Schwartz all drove in runs in the fourth. 

Moses Lake’s defensive play was highlighted by a three-pitch top of the second inning, where Walla Walla had two groundouts and a pop-out.

Moses Lake returns to league play on Friday with a home game against Davis, followed by a road doubleheader against Wenatchee on April 26.

“We’re playing good defense, they work hard in practice. I think they can see the rewards of getting better and being crisper on defense,” Mike Hofheins said. “They’re a tight group, which has been pretty cool to coach and be around.”

With tough matchups ahead on the schedule — Moses Lake travels to Richland, Othello and Eastmont, as well as hosts West Valley (Yakima) — the head coach said it’s important not to overlook anyone on the schedule.

“We’ve got to continue to work hard every day in practice, and be playing better softball than we did today,” Hofheins said. “If we do all those things, all that stuff will take care of itself. We’ve got some tough games down the road, but we can’t overlook teams.”

Ian Bivona may be reached at ibivona@columbiabasinherald.com

Box score

WALL: 2-0-0-0-0 2
MSLK: 1-4-1-7-X 13

    Moses Lake senior Raegen Hofheins records Moses Lake’s first hit of the game in the bottom of the first inning against Walla Walla. Hofheins had three hits and four RBI in the win.
 
 
    Moses Lake senior Lexi Cox catches a fly ball in the outfield against Walla Walla.
 
 
    Moses Lake junior Paige Richardson pitched all five innings against Walla Walla on Friday, striking out five batters and surrendering six hits.