Following a 10-1 victory over the North Thurston Rams in their home opener, the Lady Tornados fastpitch team was set for a busy week that featured seven games in locations throughout Western …
Following a 10-1 victory over the North Thurston Rams in their home opener, the Lady Tornados fastpitch team was set for a busy week that featured seven games in locations throughout Western Washington.
In their first game of the week, the Tornados hosted the Tenino Beavers in a non-conference matchup. Yelm was able to pitch at a high level, shutting out Tenino throughout the contest. In the end, Yelm walked away with the victory, 4-0.
In their next game, the Tornados hosted South Sound Conference rivals Timberline in a highly anticipated matchup for the ladies. The two contests between Yelm and Timberline went down to the wire last year, with the Tornados prevailing in both contests.
Looking to right their wrongs of the last season, Timberline was not able to keep up with Yelm’s offense, as the ladies were able to score 10 runs. The Blazers were held to just three, giving Yelm another notch in the victory column.
The Tornados then traveled to Bellevue College on Friday, March 25 and took on both Ellensburg High School and East Valley High School in back-to-back contests.
In the first matchup at Bellevue College against Ellensburg, the Tornados got off to a fast start as senior second baseman Molly Embrey hit an inside-the-park homerun. The Tornados were able to put several runs on the board early in the contest, but Ellensburg responded with some scoring of their own.
Eventually, the game was tied 3-3 before Yelm transitioned its focus into small ball as they tried to reach base through bunts, and advance the runners through steals. That strategy seemed to pay off for the Tornados.
Yelm defeated Ellensburg, 10-3, behind strong batting and solid pitching from sophomore Madisyn Erickson.
The next game in a double-header for the Tornados was against East Valley High School. Yelm and East Valley battled it out throughout the entirety of the game, and Yelm found themselves victorious, 7-6.
Then on Saturday, the Tornados took part in another double header, this time at Auburn Riverside High School. They first faced Pe Ell.
Yelm prevailed, winning 5-4, marking their sixth straight win of the season.
Then, the Tornados ran into their toughest matchup yet against Jackson High School.
The Timberwolves capitalized, and defeated Yelm 20-0, in a shutout loss.
“The loss against Jackson was tough, but challenged us to deal with adversity and learn how important it is to stick together and trust each other. Keeping a positive mind set and focusing on what we can control in a game like that is what we discussed after the game,” said Coach Lindsay Walton.
Walton said the loss will not define their season.
“It only makes us mentally tougher and brings us closer together. Jackson was a strong hitting team from top to bottom and when you play a team like that, everyone has to show up and be in it from the start,” Walton said. “You have to dig deep, even when you’re tired and it being your fifth game in three days. You always learn more from a loss, so that’s what we do. We take notes on what happened and work on it in practice.”
Overall, Walton was proud of her girls and how they played throughout the week. She noted that “we’re looking forward to finishing this week strong, and completing half of our season before spring break.”
She made note that senior outfielder Katelyn Cederburg went 5 for 12 in her at bats over the six games, which was good enough to post a .417 batting average. Cederburg was productive offensively throughout the busy week, totaling three singles, two doubles, and scoring three runs.
Senior third baseman Ashlyn Aven also had a productive week, as she batted 7 for 18, sporting a .389 batting average. Aven also tallied four singles, a double, two triples, and recorded seven RBIs and scored five runs.
Walton also credited sophomore Elissa Dewees for her defensive efforts in the outfield, where she utilized her speed for her own advantage. Dewees sports a .588 on base percentage for Yelm.
The Tornados played at River Ridge High School against the Hawks on Monday, March 28. Yelm defeated the Hawks 16-4. Dewees continued her hot streak with a four RBI day.
Following their contest with River Ridge, the ladies were set to travel to Peninsula on Thursday, March 31. Following their contest with Peninsula, the team will return across the bridge for a matchup with Gig Harbor on Friday, April 1.
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