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ACH softball picks up wins over Wellpinit

by IAN BIVONA
Sports Reporter | March 27, 2024 4:25 PM

COULEE CITY — The Almira/Coulee-Hartline softball team carried on its streak of run-ruling teams in Tuesday’s doubleheader against Wellpinit, winning 16-0 and 19-2.

“We were feeling pretty confident,” ACH Head Coach Faye Butler said. “When the girls warmed up they were looking pretty good.”

Game one opened with a nine-run outing by the Warriors in the bottom of the first, followed by seven runs in the bottom of the second. With Wellpinit unable to answer, the game ended in the middle of the fourth inning in a 16-0 Warrior win.

Senior Kady Murray led the Warriors with three hits in the win and tied with fellow senior Mariah McWalter for a team-high in RBI (three).

Senior pitcher Beth Okamoto struck out 10 of the 13 batters she faced. Okamoto credited freshman Lainee Baergen for stepping in behind the plate.

“We had a freshman, Lainee Baergen, in there catching,” Okamoto said. “I was a little worried, but she did a great job. When I’m pitching out there I need stabilization, and looking at my team, it’s great to see them all supporting me.”

Freshman Grace Okamoto got the start in the circle for the second game, who was battling through an injury to her pitching hand.

The freshman struck out 10 batters in ACH’s 19-2 win in the nightcap, surrendering one hit.

“It’s hard to work around, but after a few pitches, I found my groove and was ready to keep doing what I needed to do,” Grace Okamoto said.

Butler said the Warriors’ roster in the second game was primarily composed of junior varsity players, who had the opportunity to gain experience in a varsity environment.

“It was really nice to have them out there, just to get that experience,” Butler said. “You could see they were nervous, just trying to steal the bases, but they did great.”

Throughout the early games of the season, the Warriors have been focusing on the little things before the competition begins to ramp up.

“Every game we try to focus on the fundamentals, and games like this we focus on base running,” Beth Okamoto said. “Looking toward the future, we have (Wilbur-Creston-Keller) coming up on Saturday, so that’s going to be a tough game potentially. If we focus on the fundamentals, we can only build from there.”

Grace Okamoto credited the team’s communication for their 5-0 start to the year.

“Our team has good communication, so if we keep talking through everything and knowing where the next play is going to be, we’ll be good to go,” Grace Okamoto said.

First pitch against Wilbur-Creston-Keller is at noon Saturday at the Hartline Ball Fields.

“Coming in and keeping the momentum going, keeping our heads clear as we go into each game making sure our fundamentals are good and we keep on attacking the ball,” Butler said of maintaining ACH’s winning start to the season.

Ian Bivona may be reached at ibivona@columbiabasinherald.com.

Box scores

Game One

WPT: 0-0-0-0 0
ACH: 9-7-0-X

Game Two

WPT: 2-0-0-0 2
ACH: 5-9-5-X 19

    ACH freshman Josie Bayless runs to first base after recording a hit against Wellpinit.
 
 
    ACH freshman Madison Brink scores a run in the bottom of the third inning against Wellpinit.
 
 
    ACH senior Beth Okamoto swings the bat against Wellpinit. The ACH Warriors brought home two wins on their scorecard at the away double-header against Wellpinit.