The Napavine Tigers Softball team came out focused and aggressive for their doubleheader Saturday against the Mountaineers from Rainier. They were dominant front to back in a game that was highlighted by two teams heading in different directions in the standings. Napavine is 7-3 in league and hoping to catch up with Adna in the standings and move into third place. Meanwhile, Onalaska is directly behind them and also hoping to climb in the standings, so the Tigers are well aware that they cannot allow a let down of focus to creep in.
After winning the first game 18-1, the Tigers came out in the second game with a huge close to their second inning. Some of the action at the plate for Napavine included the following: an RBI double by number 24 Taylor Denault; a two-run scoring RBI double by number 7 Solona Sanchez, who then stole home on a passed ball; and number 9 Abbigal Music, who followed shortly thereafter with a double of her own. The combination of solid hitting and aggressive base running, interspersed with some poorly timed errors in the field, spelled disaster for the visitors. The dust settled on the inning with Napavine holding a 20-0 advantage, which would prove to be the final score.
The Mountaineers showed some fight of their own with a leadoff double in the third by number 11. She advanced to third on a fielder's choice but was caught in a double play at home on a brilliantly fielded ball and two excellent throws by the home team.
Coach Williams was pleased with his team's effort and focus during the games. He noted that they were at the halfway point of the season and that up until now they have had to spend lots of time inside in the batting cages. It was nice to get out and be able to play in the sun. He also observed that it was the first game the team has had this year that wasn't threatened to be rained out. When asked about the future, he said that Onalaska is next on the schedule and observed that they are tough.
If the Tigers can find a way to sweep the Loggers, that would be a solid step forward to distancing themselves from the team closest on their heels.
Meanwhile, on the diamond adjoining the girls' softball game the boys were also in a doubleheader against the Mountaineers. The first game was already over after a dominant outing by Wyatt Stanley in which he only allowed one base hit. He was helped by an offense that was highlighted by Mack Fagerness' base clearing double that scored three runs. Napavine won 8-0.
The second game was a close contest that saw Rainier's bats come to life as they hit the ball hard the entire game. The Mountaineers would miss out on an opportunity in the fifth inning. After scoring one run already, number 38 drew a walk to load the bases with two outs. However, junior Sam Fagerness was able to get the next batter to ground out to short and the Tigers were out of the inning mostly unscathed with a 7-3 lead. They then hung on to be victorious by a single run, 9-8. However, a wins a win, and they drove their record to 9-1 staying ahead of Wahkiakum, who also won their two games for the day.