NASELLE — Ilwaco exploded for nine runs in the second inning and made that one big inning stand up for a 13-7 non-league softball win at Naselle May 7.

Three straight walks and a hit batsman got the Lady Fishermen going to start off the third frame after taking a 1-0 lead in the second. Makenzie Dalton, Darian Johnson, Jackie Smith, Logan Manecke and Megan Clark each had RBI singles and the Comets committed a pair of errors during the nine-run stanza.

The Comets got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third on a double to right field by Cassie Van Dusen and an RBI-single to right by Rochel Mahlum. Naselle utilized three walks, a hit batsman, and two-RBI singles to centerfield by Vicki Corona and to left field by Karianne Condon to produce four tallies in the bottom of the fourth, closing the gap to 11-5.

The Comets used the long ball in the seventh frame to plate a pair as Condon singled to center, Sandell belted a triple up the middle to score Condon and then Sandell was chased home by Kirsten Scrabeck’s single to left field. Naselle’s hit parade was led by Scrabeck 2-4 and a double and Condon 2-4. Sandell tripled and Van Dusen doubled, while Mahlum, Amber Wirkkala, and Corona all had base hits.

“It was nice to hit the ball hard today. I am playing better now than earlier in the year, but I’d rate my season a seven on a scale of 10. I enjoy shortstop and am comfortable there, but I’ll play anywhere my coach asks me to. I play for fun and for the team,” sophomore Condon said.

“One bad inning — that was the story for this year. The girls didn’t give up in this game though. They continued to hit and fought through it,” Naselle coach Bekah Wirkkala explained. She had praise for Amber Wirkkala at third base and Shae Trost’s diving efforts on fly balls to her position in center. “Kirsten really hit the ball well. She is such a powerful hitter that she would make me nervous if I were playing on defense,” coach Wirkkala said.

Clark struck out a career-high nine and walked five. “My changeup was my best pitch tonight and I felt I pitched some of my better games at the end of the season. I am happy I have improved, thanks to my pitching coach, Joe Cade. I am hitting much better because I’m staying back and loading before taking my swing. We have come together as a team and have had a good end to the season. I want to play summer softball and get ready for next year,” Clark, a junior, said.

Keiana Yasunaka was 1-1 with three walks and a hit by pitch and Dalton and Clark were 2-3 to lead the Lady Fishermen offense that benefited from 14 Comets bases on balls. “I feel we are playing a 100 times better now than we did last year when several of us were on the JVs. It felt good to get a couple of doubles and two RBIs today,” Dalton said.

“Our defense, pitching and hitting were on today. Megan Clark pitched and hit very well, striking out nine and going 2-3 at the plate. Keiana Yasunaka showed great patience at the plate, getting on base five out of five times. Amanda Bell played good at second base and Brittany Olson also saw action out in right field,” Ilwaco coach Mooch Smith said.

The Comets completed their season with the make-up game and finish with a 4-7 record. Ilwaco improved to 6-10 with the win.

Ilwaco 019 101 1 13-14-2

Naselle 001 400 2 7-9-4

Megan Clark (W) and Makenzie Dalton; Cassie Van Dusen, Vicki Corona (3), Van Dusen (3) and Rochel Mahlum

Three Comets all-league, four honorable mention

NASELLE — Three Comets were named to the Pacific 2B all-league first team and four other softball players earned honorable mention as league coaches voted for their favorites. Bekah Wirkkala was tabbed as coach of the year and Naselle won the sportsmanship team award.

Outfielder Makenzie Matthews, shortstop Karianne Condon, and first baseman Ciara Sandell all were selected to be on the 13-girl first team. Pitcher Cassie Van Dusen, third baseman Amber Wirkkala, infielder-outfielder Kirsten Scrabeck, and second baseman Vicki Corona were among the seven players receiving honorable mention from league coaches.

Jenny Benn, pitcher from Ocosta, was named most valuable player. Mckenzy Powers, Lauren Nelson, Mikayla Sunde, Courtney Rutzer, Lexie Schmeling and Shaylene Pase of Ocosta were also on the first team. Cari Laranang, Alexis Ketter, Liz Garmin and Maaria Garmin from North Beach were first-team selections. Kallee Orton of Ocosta and North Beach’s Koral Frost and Marya Pope earned honorable mention.

Lady Chinooks swim past Ilwaco 8-3, 15-5 in season finale

LONG BEACH — Ilwaco lost both ends of a doubleheader to the Lady Chinooks 8-3 and 15-5 in five innings in the Trico League softball finale for both teams May 8 at Culbertson Park in Long Beach. The victory gave Kalama third place in the league and a berth in the District IV class 1A tournament.

In the second game Kalama broke open a 5-5 tie by scoring 10 runs in the bottom of the fifth to win by mercy rule. The Lady Fishermen finish their season at 6-12 and 4-10 in league play. Kalama finishes the regular season 9-5 in the Trico and 9-6 overall.

Logan Manecke was 3-4 in the first game and Jackie Smith and Amanda Bell were 2-4. Smith belted a triple and double. In the nightcap Darian Johnson was 3-4 and Smith and Makenzie Dalton both doubled.

“I hit a triple and made a catch after going back and then having to jump. I pushed myself this season to do well. I really enjoyed playing centerfield, my favorite position. I am hitting better now and the key is to keep my eye on the ball and my head in. This was my best year in softball, but it was sad knowing this would be my last game,” Manecke said.

“I was 4-4 and hit well and didn’t make any errors against Naselle and I hit OK today and am feeling confident at shortstop. I like knowing I’m in the right position for cutoff plays, that sort of thing,” Victoria Thrasher explained.

“I played the best three games of the year my last three and even made a good catch going back on a ball in left field. Getting used to hitting varsity pitching was most definitely my biggest challenge, but I improved a lot,” Rachel Thrasher added.

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