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By JOE STURZL
Daily News Staff Writer
The Ketchikan High School softball team opened its season Friday at Dudley Field, with strong pitching performances by Hailee Miller and Kaileigh Krosse leading the Lady Kings to back-to-back victories in a doubleheader. Kayhi won game one 14-4 and game two 11-1.
Head softball coach Scott Smith said that Thunder Mountain has improved year-to-year since its softball program began, and the Falcons did show signs they can be a competitive team despite the final scores.
"I think that they gave us a little bit of a scare in the first game even though we got two or three (runs) an inning on them," Smith said.
The Falcons were quiet on offense through three innings in game one before their bats came alive and the Kayhi defense made a couple errors that allowed Thunder Mountain to score.
"We can play with anybody as long as we’re not throwing the ball around," Smith said. "We got into that pattern a little bit of making throwing errors and gave them runs we shouldn't have, but, in the later innings, we were able to stack two or three runs at a time."
Kayhi scored 10 runs in the first inning of game two before scoring one run the rest of the game, with Falcons pitcher Tracy Bourassa allowing four of 10 hits after the first inning.
"That lefty they threw is tough. She was throwing hard and, like I said, they are getting better," Smith said.
Both games were called after four innings due to the Alaska School Activities Association softball mercy rule.
In game one, Miller took the mound for the Lady Kings and allowed one hit through the first three innings. Kayhi’s bats took off from the start with Felicia Ruaro leading with a walk. After Ruaro stole second, Jaz Nedzwecky drove her in with a double. Martha Bullock drew a walk, and after Nedzwecky and Bullock stole second and third respectively, Sadie Barajas drove both of them in with a single. Barajas stole second and reached third on an Emma Bullock single. A throwing error brought Barajas home to give the Lady Kings a 4-0 lead after one inning.
Thunder Mountain got on the board in the third inning when Maya Hayward started a rally with a double. Haleigh DiCarlo reached on an error that also advanced Hayward to third. Abby Mountcastle’s ensuing single drove in Dicarlo and Hayward to bring the score to 3-2.
Barajas reached first base on an error to start Kayhi’s own third inning rally. After a single by Emma Bullock and walk by Lexi Biggerstaff loaded the bases, Ruaro was hit by a pitch to drive in Barajas. Abby Boegler’s ensuing double drove in Emma Bullock and Biggerstaff. A wild pitch scored Ruaro, giving Kayhi an 8-2 lead after three innings.
Makayla Harp singled to lead off the fourth inning for the Falcons. Ashly Cunningham and Lonnie Echiverri hit consecutive singles, with Echiverri driving in Harp. Harriet Martin’s single later in the inning allowed her to score after two fielder’s choices and a passed ball, cutting the Kayhi lead to 8-4.
The Lady Kings went on to score six runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, going through the entire batting order before Nedzwecky scored the 14th run to give Kayhi the 14-4 win.
Miller pitched four innings for Kayhi, allowing four runs on six hits and striking out two. Ruaro led the team offensively with two doubles, three runs scored and four RBI.
Kayhi scored 10 runs in the first inning of play in game two of the doubleheader. Before the game, the coaches had decided to get a doubleheader in.
"There was an early decision to try and get both conference games in today," he said.
Thirteen batters stepped up to the plate for the Lady Kings before the Falcons recorded the final out in the bottom of the first inning. Ruaro walked twice and scored two runs while Nedzwecky also scored two runs in the frame. Boegler, Sara Collins, Miller, Emma Bullock, Kaylee Smith and Biggerstaff also touched home plate.
Thunder Mountain scored its lone run in the top of the third inning when DiCarlo led off with z