All it took was seven innings for Hermiston’s softball team to add two more Mid-Columbia Conference wins to their record.
The Bulldogs enacted the WIAA’s 15-run rule twice on Friday, ending the first game against the visiting Pasco Bulldogs 18-2 in four innings, and Game 2 with a 15-0 shutout in three.
The wins follow the April 16 doubleheader losses at Kennewick.
“It’s exciting,” coach Kate Greenough said of her team’s back-to-back blowouts. “After Tuesday, it was nice to score some runs and hold down our defense.”
Pasco opened the first game with an early 1-0 lead, but Hermiston was quick to respond, posting four runs at the bottom of the first to stay out front for good.
Bailee Noland, who would not be denied at the plate, hit a two-RBI single in the first inning, and followed that with a grand slam at her next at-bat. She hit a perfect 3 for 3 with three runs and seven RBIs scored.
Hermiston also took advantage of Pasco’s defensive weaknesses, stealing 18 bases in the first game alone. And Pasco pitcher Brizeida Quiroz, who gave up 18 runs on 11 hits and nine walks, couldn’t manage a strikeout.
“That really helped us,” Noland said of Pasco’s pitching. “Our team is used to seeing higher-speed pitching, and a lot of change-ups. We jumped on their straight-up fastballs today.”
Noland hit an RBI-double in the bottom of the third to aid in a five-run streak. Ashley Cameron hit one of her own in the fourth to wrap the game up. The double solidified her perfect batting performance, where she hit 2 for 2 with three runs and three RBIs.
The Dawgs sent 12 batters to the plate in the second inning of game two, resulting in eight runs, half of which came before Pasco put an out on the board.
Noland, Sydney Stefani, Daisy Maddox, Grace Studer, and Brecella Nash all scored on wild pitches from Pasco’s Andrea Gonzalez, who surrendered 15 runs on just three hits, walked seven, and didn’t bench a single Hermiston batter.
“Pasco is a pretty inexperienced team,” Greenough said. “But no matter how a team looks on paper, you have to give every game your best effort.”
Maddox’s two-RBI double in the bottom of the third drove in Cameron and Noland to call the game in three innings.
“The girls were really aggressive today,” Greenough said. “They worked hard. They deserved this win.”
Noland drove in two on a double for her game’s only at-bat. She, Stefani, Maddox, and Samantha Atilano each scored two runs. Cameron had three.