LA CENTER The Lady Wildcats scored five runs in the fourth inning on their way to an 8-5 win in the first game and then routed the Lady Fishermen 14-1 in the second contest to earn a district playoff berth and eliminate Ilwaco from post-season play on Thursday, May 5 in La Center.
The games were originally set for Long Beach, but wet grounds moved them east. Kiley Monson was the winner in both games, striking out 22, walking four and allowing six hits in 12 innings of work. Sydney Ward went the distance for Ilwaco in both contests, striking out three and walking four in the opener.
For the Lady Fishermen in the lid-lifter Kady Kirby led the offense with two hits, including a double and Ashley Petty doubled and Georgia Pettey, Cindy Pacheco, and Grace McPhail singled. Kirby singled and Jackie Smith doubled in the second game for Ilwaco. LaCenter banged out a total of 28 hits in the doubleheader.
In the opener the score was knotted at 2-2 in the fourth frame, with both teams in a must-win situation to qualify for district. Three walks, an error, and a hit batsman gave the Lady Wildcats a 4-2 lead and then Monson blasted a bases-clearing double to put the game out of reach at 7-2.
In the seventh, Ilwaco came back with three runs to make the score 8-5, but a dead ball call on what apparently was an RBI single by Grace McPhail curtailed the rally. It would have made the game very interesting had the umpire gotten the call right, coach Rick Bishop said.
In the second game a combination of walks and four errors allowed the Lady Wildcats to put the game out of reach early at 7-0 after one and a half frames. Kady Kirby finished with three hits and four RBIs in the doubleheader.
We made contact at bat in the first game, but they made the defensive plays. In the second game we probably had our worst fielding effort of the year on very makeable plays. In each game Kiley Monson hit doubles with the bases loaded and pitched very well to kill us, Bishop said. We played nine good innings, one not so good, and two very bad innings and we saw too much Monson.
The Lady Fishermen are now 4-8 in the Trico League and 6-8 overall, while LaCenter improves to 8-4 in league play and is 8-5 for the season. Ilwaco is tied with Kalama, their final opponent of the season, for fifth place and LaCenter is in fourth in the Trico behind league leaders Castle Rock and Ridgefield and third place Toledo-Winlock.