NASELLE — Last week saw a possible passing of the torch in the Coastal League. Brynn Tarabochia struck out eight batters in the Comets’ 14-1 victory over three-time league champion Wishkah Monday, April 22. The Comets led game two of the double-header 8-4 after two innings before the contest was suspended by rain, to be resumed in Wishkah May 2.

Tarabochia finished a 1-2-3 first by striking out Comet nemesis Erica Bomhoff, getting her to swing over sinking pitches. She had devastating movement on her pitches throughout the game, stifling the Logger offense.

Bomhoff, the pitcher, had her high fastball working and kept the Comets to soft contact in the first two innings, but her fielders didn’t make plays behind her. Lily Harman hit a bases-loaded pop-up that dropped in front of the right fielder. Two runs scored on the play, with the help of a throwing error that got the Comets out of a rundown. Courtney Paul brought home two more with a blooper just over first base, giving Naselle a four-run inning.

In the third inning, the Comets started getting better pitches to hit. Harman lined the first pitch of the inning to right, and Hollie Haataia doubled her in on another first-pitch fastball. Mia Watson’s two-out bunt single kept the inning alive, loading the bases for the top of the order. Up came Kylee Tarabochia, who in her previous at bat had belted a 2-2 pitch just foul past the left-field pole before lining out hard to center. She came through with a bases-clearing double to deep center for a 7-0 lead.

Four batters later, Wishkah brought in a new pitcher to face Haataia with runners on second and third. Haataia hit a grounder to short, and an accurate throw to first would have beaten her. But Brynn Tarabochia took off from third and drew the throw home, then got in a rundown between home and third.

Catcher Abby Van Blaricon tagged her out, apparently ending the inning. But after an umpires’ conference, Van Blaricon was called for interference for blocking Tarabochia’s path without the ball in her hand during the rundown. Tarabochia was credited with the run, and the Comets ended up with a ten-run inning and a 14-0 lead.

Van Blaricon doubled to lead off the fourth and scored on a wild pitch, but that was all the Loggers got. The game ended after four innings to give the teams a better chance of getting in the second game of the double-header amid a steady rain. The double-header was scheduled because the first of two scheduled games between the league rivals had to be postponed back in March.

Game 2

Naselle scored seven runs in the first, but Brynn Tarabochia showed signs of wearing down, becoming wild in the bottom of the inning. With a run in and one on, though, the Comets called a pitch-out and guessed right, as Haataia threw out the runner stealing for the first out. Van Blaricon had a two-out single but was stranded when Tarabochia caught a liner back to the mound.

In the second inning, Tarabochia lost the strike zone with four walks, four wild pitches and a hit batter. Again, the Loggers’ aggression on the bases got the Comets out of trouble. Bomhoff drew the fifth walk of the inning, then tried to catch the Comets napping, taking off for second on the throw back to the pitcher. But Tarabochia threw quickly to second, where Taylor Gudmundsen tagged Bomhoff to end the inning. At that point, the rain suddenly came down harder, forcing umpires to suspend the game.

Aaron Mead is a sports writer for the Chinook Observer. Contact him at 360-642-8181 or aaroncmead@gmail.com.

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