COEUR d’ALENE — The undefeated Lake City Timberwolves found themselves in an unfamiliar position Friday, after three inning of the second game of a 5A Inland Empire League softball doubleheader vs. the visiting Post Falls Trojans.
But Lake City, with its power-packed lineup from top to bottom, is tough to keep down for long. Trailing by three runs, the Timberwolves put up five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning and went on to beat Post Falls 7-5 to complete the sweep in the Fight to Save Second Base games for breast cancer awareness at Lake City High.
Lake City (18-0, 10-0 5A IEL) won the opener 5-0, en route to wrapping up its third straight league title.
“My whole mindset was, play for my team, hit for my team, do whatever I can to get us up in the lead,” said lefty swinging Lake City senior Emma Gray, who hit two home runs on the day, including a long, two-run shot that broke a 5-all tie in the fourth inning of the second game. “I was a little nervous (when Lake City was trailing); I’m not going to lie, but I knew we were going to come back. I knew my team can do anything.”
Post Falls (8-9, 2-8), which was shelled by Lake City by a combined 32-5 in the first doubleheader on April 16, gave the T-Wolves some anxious moments on Friday.
The Trojans kept Lake City to a scoreless tie through three innings of the opener, before the T-Wolves returned to their Home Run Derby ways. Emma Gray lined a two-run homer over the fence in right, also scoring Olivia Zufelt, who had doubled. Three batters later, Abby Jankay smashed a two-run homer off the left field foul pole.
Jalyssa Beamer led off the sixth with a home run to left field for the game’s final run.
In the second game, Alyssa Krause drove a three-run homer to right-center field for Post Falls in the top of the first.
After Zufelt answered with a two-run shot in the bottom of the first, the Trojans came back to up their lead to 5-2 in the third, on a sacrifice fly by “Bubba” Gleaves and an RBI single by Krause.
Lake City, which had scored all of its runs on homers up to that point, found another way to score in the fourth.
Jankay and Ashley Kaufman each singled, and Bailie Taylor’s one-out bunt single loaded the bases. Reilley Chapman bounced into a fielder’s choice to drive home a run. Then, with Zufelt batting, Chapman ran halfway to second and stopped, drawing a throw which allowed Kaufman to dash home from third. Zufelt singled to center to score Chapman to tie the game at 5.
Gray then launched a long two-run homer down the right field line that would have chased the throwers if track and field practice were in session.
In the sixth, Post Falls had runners at second and third with two out. Emma Aldrich hit a liner between second base and Chapman, who was playing second, dove to her right and snared the liner to save two runs.
“We’ve been focused on the execution and not the result the entire year,” Post Falls coach Holly Gleaves said. “As young as we are, with the number of freshmen we’ve got out there (five) and sophomores (four), we’re really pleased at this point of the season with how we’re starting to compete. We’ve been really impressed with both of our freshman pitchers (McKenna Moak and Sophie Nungesser) and how they’re coming along. We’re on the (right) path; we need to put some more runs on the board.”
Kaufman struck out seven and gave up one hit in five shutout innings in the opener.
“I have to give Post Falls a lot of credit; they really battled today,” Lake City coach Jesse Lenz said. “And put us in some situations that we needed to be put in, and we had to battle through second and third twice, or three times, and we had to battle to get out of them. We didn’t have our cleanest games, but hopefully we can learn from those things and make it a learning experience.”
Lake City is scheduled to play Hermiston (Ore.) and Kamiakin today in Richland.
Post Falls plays host to Coeur d’Alene on Tuesday at home in a doubleheader to conclude 5A IEL play.
Post Falls 000 000 0 — 0 2 0
Lake City 000 401 x — 5 8 0
McKenna Moak, Sophie Nungesser (4) and Alyssa Krause; Ashley Kaufman, Amanda Curry (6) and Jalyssa Beamer, Olivia Zufelt (6).
HITS: PF — Donohoe, Ritchart. LC — Beamer 3, Taylor 2, Zufelt, E. Gray, Jankay. 2B — Taylor, Zufelt. HR — Beamer, E. Gray, Jankay.
Post Falls 302 000 0 — 5 9 2
Lake City 200 500 x — 7 11 3
Sophie Nungesser, McKenna Moak (6) and Alyssa Krause; Amanda Curry, Ashley Kaufman (5) and Olivia Zufelt, Jalyssa Beamer (5).
HITS: PF — Horn 2, Gleaves 2, Krause 2, Barber, Dumas 2. LC — Chapman 2, Zufelt 3, E. Gray 2, Kaufman 2, Jankay, Taylor. 2B — Gleaves, Zufelt. HR — Zufelt, E. Gray.