Bad weather, injuries impact T-Wolves during Eastern Washington trip

 We should have know it was going to be a “long” weekend when we got the call Thursday night that Friday’s East Region opener against Spokane was going to be moved to Sunday due to snow.

That reversed our road trip and sent us to Moses Lake and Big Bend CC on Saturday. We lost both games, the first 7-3 and the second, 6-5, in 8 innings. We were in both games and learned a lot.

Due to illness and injuries, we had four different lineups in four games. We also had several unusual plays and every opportunity to prove the notion that softball is a “game of inches.” Most of the “inches” were slightly out of reach.

Though we didn’t hit the ball as well as we had in our previous three games, we had our share of hits, including 9 in the first game against BBCC. The key was that we didn’t bunch our base hits, which usually affords a big inning.

Freshman Stephanie Figueroa hit her first collegiate home run ... a 238-foot shot that left the yard in a hurry. As soon as “Fig” make contact, there was no doubt it was gone.

BBCC, on the other hand, bunched their hits and made us play catch up. Two of their hits left the park in the first game.

With the exception of one inning in the double header, sophomore pitchers Jordan Bennett and Megan Alexander certainly pitched well enough to win.

Following Saturday’s twin bill in Moses Lake, we traveled to Spokane. Great dinner at Red Robin and terrific accommodations at Red Lion River Walk. Add to that, it was 72 degrees by the time the second game started on Sunday.

However, before the first game began, shortstop Cheyenne Friend came up lame and sat out Sunday’s contests. Then, Figueroa sat out the second game.

We had two hits in the first inning of the opener, then didn’t get our third until the seventh inning.

Spokane took advantage of a couple of untimely miscues, and scored two runs in each of the first two innings to win 6-0.

Kendal Weber, Figueroa and Cassie Hernandez had our base hits. Bennett limited Spokane to five base hits.

It was a different story in the second game as Spokane came up swinging and scored four in the first en route to a 9-1 win.

The bats remained quiet, though Weber and Bennett had back-to-back base hits to score “CC” Carter in the 5th inning.

Randi Kostner had a double and outfielder Page Woodward got her first collegiate base hit. Both are sophomores academically, but are freshmen in eligibility.

Though it’s never good to miss players to injuries or illness (we had three during the weekend), it did open the opportunity for other players to show their versatility and opened a starting berth here or there for others. Hernandez, who has raised her average to .320, got a pair of games in at second. This year, the freshman from Sisters has played first, third, second, and all three outfield positions. That’s why she was recruited ... versatility.

Freshman Kerica Cusick has played third, outfield, catcher and first base. The former Shadle Park slugger played first, caught and third on the road trip.

It’s nice to have that versatility. Cusick, who has played outstanding at first this season, did as well at third.

After a dozen games, Friend leads the team in hitting with a .520 average and has 15 runs batted in. Bennett is next at .407, followed by Weber at .343. Next is Hernandez (.320), Piper Carstens at .313 and Kostner at .300. Kostner, who bats first or second, leads with 13 runs scored.

Pitchingwise, Alexander has a 3.73 ERA and Bennett has 35 strikeouts in 39 innings.

The Timberwolves were scheduled to travel to Wenatchee Friday, then overnight to Yakima for a Saturday double header. Bad weather has changed that schedule. The Timberwolves now travel to Wenatchee on Sunday, April 1 (no fooling) for a twin bill, then to Yakima for a double-header Monday, April 2.

Stay tuned ....