The Woodland Beavers fought hard in a high scoring affair between two Cowlitz County teams, but ultimately fell short, 10-7, during a game against Kelso on Wednesday, March 29.
The game included four home runs and 17 runs scored.
“Our outfield play was really good. Pitching and catching and our hitting, I was proud of,” Woodland Head Coach Tom Chirstensen said. “We lost by three, but we were in it the whole way. We had a chance at the very end, so that was exciting.”
Gracelynn Huffman was in the circle as the starting pitcher for Woodland. Huffman had 102 pitches in five innings as she gave up 14 hits, nine earned runs and tallied three strikeouts with one walk.
Kelso got off to an early lead of two runs, but Woodland cut that in half in the bottom of the first inning. Gabi Silveria hit a line drive to right field that counted as a single, but advanced to third base because of an error from Kelso’s right fielder. Ainsleigh Utter reached first on the error that scored Silveria, bringing the end of the first inning to a 2-1 score in Kelso’s favor.
Addi Christensen hit a blast over the center field fence in the second inning to allow the Woodland Beavers to tie the game 2-2.
“There was some good outfield play by Madi Walker and Addi (Christensen),” coach Chirstensen said. “Addi had her first home run.”
Kelso then added four runs in the third inning for a score of 6-2.
After five innings, the Hilanders had a lead of 10-2. The Beavers answered with offense of their own in the bottom of the fifth when Utter hit a home run to start their half of the inning as the ball launched off of her bat and sailed over the center field fence.
Emily Hughes was hit by a pitch and a courtesy runner came in for her. Alyson Russel grounded out but secured an RBI that scored courtesy runner Penelope Tyler. Addi Christensen grounded out for the second out of the inning but also secured another RBI as Huffman scored.
Woodland was down 10-5 after the fifth.
Silveria took to the circle to close out the game for Woodland. She threw for two innings, giving up one hit, no runs, three strikeouts and three walks on 40 pitches.
There were no runs and only one hit for Woodland by Silveria in the sixth inning.
The bottom of the seventh inning and Woodland’s last chance to even out the score started when Huffman singled to left field. That was followed up with a double by Addi Christensen that moved Huffman to third base.
With two runners in scoring position, back-to-back ground outs narrowed Kelso’s lead to only three. Walker showed some speed with a fly ball that she turned into a triple. With Walker on third, Jolie Oathes battled seven pitches, but struck out to end the game.
Coach Chirstensen said Utter has been the catcher for the Beavers during every game this season.
“Our goal this year is to get to districts. Last year, we barely missed it,” coach Christensen said. “That’s our goal this year is to get to districts. We are hoping to be in the top three or four in league.”
This year’s softball team is young and only features one senior.
“It’s exciting for the future, (but) it sucks to lose a game,” coach Christensen said. “(I) still feel pretty good about that game.”
After the game against Kelso, the Beavers’ record fell to 2-3 on the season.
Woodland will begin its post-spring break portion of the season on Monday, April 10, on the road in Ridgefield.
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