Rainier Comes Out on Top in Pitchers’ Duel

By Alec Dietz / alec@chronline.com
Posted 3/24/22

TENINO — There weren’t many runs or baserunners as two of the area’s best pitcher’s met in the Stone City Thursday afternoon, but there were more than enough strikeouts to …

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Rainier Comes Out on Top in Pitchers’ Duel

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TENINO — There weren’t many runs or baserunners as two of the area’s best pitcher’s met in the Stone City Thursday afternoon, but there were more than enough strikeouts to pass around. 

In a 2-0 Rainier victory over Tenino on the road, pitchers Bailey Elwell and Emily Baxter combined for 27 punchouts, and no earned runs over seven innings pitched. Baxter finished with 17 strikeouts, but came out on the wrong side of the win/loss column after two errors in the sixth inning allowed the Mountaineers to score two runs and walk away winners. 

“It was an excellent and extremely competitive game between the two of us,” Mountaineers coach Kyle Greenwood said. “Their pitcher was absolutely outstanding and made it really tough for us. However, once we start getting more aggressive at the plate we put them under some pressure, that forward thinking really paid off.”

Baxter had a flawless game brewing, with 15 punchouts through 5.2 innings, but after Rainier’s first hit and a walk put runners on first and second, back-to-back errors scored both those runners to give the Mountaineers the first scores of the game, and Elwell slammed the door after early trouble. 

In the fourth inning, the Beavers, who managed five hits but just couldn’t get any runs across, loaded the bases with just one out. But a fielder’s choice out at home plate kept Tenino off the board, and a flyout ended the threat. 

“We had a ton of baserunners, we just couldn’t put the steps together,” Beavers coach Chris Johnson said.

That was the closest Tenino got to a run. The Beavers haven’t scored a run since a 16-5 demolition of Toledo in their season opener, and have fallen to 1-4. 

“This group of girls took that adversity face on, kept their composure and made the big plays when it counted,” Greenwood said of Rainier. “The energy and excitement they got from the success of getting out of that bottom of the fourth translated into us sealing the victory. We definitely got tested today but this group's character really shined through.”

Elwell finished with 10 strikeouts and no earned runs. She also had a double in the winning effort. 

The Mountaineers will look to keep it rolling against Cascade Christian at 4 p.m. Friday, while the Beavers look to get back on track against Puyallup on Saturday at 11 a.m.

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