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Mavericks defeat Huskies 5-1 in non-league battle

by IAN BIVONA
Sports Reporter | May 7, 2024 11:55 PM

OTHELLO — A three-run home run from sophomore Emmie Olsen gave Moses Lake the lead for good in Monday’s non-league matchup with the Othello Huskies, eventually taking down the Huskies 5-1 on the road.

“We pitched phenomenally, we executed some small ball really well and played a full, complete team seven-inning win,” Hofheins said. “To put up five against (Othello senior Amarie Guzman) is outstanding because she’s as tough as they come.”

After Moses Lake senior Raegen Hofheins was walked and senior Mikayla Schwartz was hit by a pitch to open the game, Olsen stepped up to the plate two at-bats later, with two outs on the board. Facing a 1-2 count, the sophomore homered on a fly ball to left field to open the game’s scoring.

“We got that big home run by Emmie (Olsen) in the first, which obviously was quite the spark,” Hofheins said.

After Othello answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the first, Moses Lake tallied additional runs in the top of the fifth inning; senior Lexi Cox scored on a fielder’s choice, and junior Paige Richardson drove in a run on a sacrifice fly that sent home sophomore Lila Johnson later in the inning. 

Othello head coach Alyssa Martinez said that while the Huskies were able to generate contact off Moses Lake pitches, the swings were a tad off.

“I felt like they made the adjustments, they were making contact, but not the contact we were looking for,” Martinez said. “They were great at-bats — a couple of our girls made her pitch probably five, six pitches that were strike-worthy for foul balls, and we just couldn’t win those.”

Despite the loss to the Mavs on Monday, Guzman carried on her strong season with a three-for-three performance at the plate, as well as five hits, three earned runs, two walks and 13 strikeouts in the circle.

In last Friday’s doubleheader against East Valley (Yakima) — where Othello won the Central Washington Athletic Conference league title — Guzman allowed just four hits, two earned runs and four walks while striking out 28 Red Devil batters across the two-game span.

“We know that if she struggled with one batter, she’ll be fine and she can work through it,” Martinez said. “She has recovered quite a lot faster than at the start of the season, and she’s matured and grown not only as a pitcher but as a leader. To see her doing her thing on the mound, as coaches we’re super proud of her.”

Moses Lake’s pitching duo of Richardson and senior Morgan Ross split time in the circle on Monday, allowing a combined four hits, one earned run and 12 strikeouts in the win over Othello.

“They’re our one-two punch and they feed off of each other,” Hofheins said. “The name of this game is pitching, and we have two girls that can go out there and neutralize the other team’s offense, and we just need to score a few runs. They’re really hitting a good stretch right now, which is nice to see here at the end of the season.”

In last week’s doubleheader against the Red Devils Othello won the first game 2-0, highlighted by RBI from senior Naraiah Guzman and junior Emi Pruneda, along with 19 strikeouts from Amarie Guzman. In the second game, with the league title on the line, Naraiah Guzman put the Huskies up 5-0 with a three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning, later holding on for a 6-2 win. It was Naraiah Guzman’s first home run, Martinez said.

“It was super exciting on senior night to celebrate her first home run, and it was absolutely launched out of the park,” Martinez said. “It flipped the team because it was a close game up until that point.”

While Othello begins the postseason Saturday, Moses Lake still has one remaining series left in the regular season; a road doubleheader against Eastmont on Friday. Moses Lake leads the Big 9 with a 10-0 mark in league contests, with the Wildcats just behind at 8-2 in the league.

“They have two really good pitchers; the girls know them so well, several of their girls play club ball in Moses Lake,” Hofheins said. “They’re a known entity … we’re going to have our hands full. I feel like every time we get together it’s a battle, and it’s kind of fun to have it come down to the last series of the season for all the marbles. That’s what makes competing fun.”

First pitch between the Mavs and Wildcats is at 4 p.m. in East Wenatchee.

Ian Bivona may be reached at ibivona@columbiabasinherald.com

Box score
MSLK: 3-0-0-0-2-0-0 5
OTHE: 1-0-0-0-0-0-0 1

    After striking out a combined 28 batters in last week’s doubleheader against East Valley (Yakima), Othello senior Amarie Guzman (7) totaled 13 strikeouts against Moses Lake in Monday’s game.