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‘That was great softball’

by CHERYL SCHWEIZER
Staff Writer | May 20, 2024 3:05 AM

MOSES LAKE — Moses Lake High School fastpitch softball coach Mike Hofheins assessed the game for his team after the Mavericks’ 7-0 win over West Valley (Yakima) on Saturday.

“That was great softball,” Hofheins said. 

Moses Lake used a dominating pitching performance from Paige Richardson and timely hitting, including a triple by Raegan Hofheins, to advance to the 4A state tournament next weekend in Richland. 

Richardson didn’t allow a baserunner through the first four innings, and the closest the Rams came to scoring was two runners on third base. Moses scored three runs in the third inning and added four more in the fourth.

Yuy guys just gained what you worked for,” Hofheins told the Maverick players.  

Richardson said a dominating pitching performance is both an individual and a team effort.

“I think the energy behind you, and if you know that you’re just going to dominate, it’s going to happen,” she said, when asked what goes into pitching a scoreless game. “I came into this game so excited. I’ve been waiting for this game all week - we all have. Just having my teammates, my best friends, behind me - it works.”

There were runners on first and second when Hofheints came to the plate in the bottom of the third inning and hit a ball down the left field line. The ball hit the glove of the West Valley fielder, the two runs scored and Hofheins was rounding third when the umpire called the ball foul. She stopped and was caught in a rundown and tagged out. 

But a review of the play determined the ball was fair, Hofheins was awarded third base and scored on a fly ball, sliding under the tag at the plate.  

“I was afraid they would’ve called it foul, but I’m pretty sure it ticked off her glove, and that’s why it was fair,” Hofheins said of her game-winning triple. “And I was just so happy that it happened with girls on, and it was able to get runners in.”

With all the excitement as a big play unfolds, Hofheins said her first job is to watch the coach.

‘“I think the biggest thing is just watching my coach and seeing what he’s telling me to do,” she said. 

“If I can hear the crowd in the background, it’s kind of pumping me up. It’s what makes the game so fantastic. It makes it so fun.”

Richardson allowed base runners the final three innings but pitched a shutout with the help of her teammates, including a running catch in shallow center field by Lexi Cox.

“I’m super proud of you,” Hofheins said after the game. “But we’re not done.”

The Mavericks open state play next Friday at Columbia Field in Richland, against an opponent to be announced.

“I feel like we’re going to do big things at state,” Richardson said.

“I’m super excited. I think we’re going to do really good,” Hofheins said.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at cschweizer@columbiabasinherald.com

Box score

MSLK: 0-0-3-4-0-0-x 7
WVLY: 0-0-0-0-0-0-0 0

    The Moses Lake High School fastpitch softball team advanced to the state tournament behind a shutout pitching performance from Paige Richardson. The Mavericks beat West Valley (Yakima) 7-0 Saturday.
 
 
    An ambiguous umpiring call left Raegan Hofheins, center, in a rundown along the third base line after her hit put Moses Lake up for good in their 7-0 win over West Valley. An appeal awarded Hofheins third base and she later scored.
 
 
    Jenika Balderas (3) stretches for the out at first in Moses Lake’s softball win Saturday.
 
 
    Amelia Avalos puts the ball in play in Saturday’s game.