The Montesano High School softball team found its offensive rhythm Friday in Yakima.
The Bulldogs traveled to the east side of the state for a tripleheader against upper-classification teams and returned with two wins. Monte defeated 2A East Valley (Yakima), 11-2, before dropping the middle game, 5-1, to 3A Ellensburg, but exploded for 13 runs against 3A West Valley (Yakima) for a 13-2 victory.
“Our girls did a good job being aggressive on the base paths and creating opportunities and taking advantage of those opportunities,” assistant coach Lucas Wisdom said. “It seemed like our short game was coming around. We were able to move the girls around and get that next base hit.”
Wisdom said the Bulldogs played consistently strong defense in their four previous games this season, but the offense had not come quite so easy. The bats came alive for Monte on Friday as the Bulldogs combined for 27 hits in the three games with only one hit going for extra bases.
Madi Studer had three hits for Monte against East Valley and Staci Schneider added three hits against West Valley.
Schneider was dominant inside the circle as well. The senior pitcher started both of the Bulldog wins on Friday, allowing only eight hits and giving up just two walks in 13 innings of work.
“She was doing a good job of hitting her spots and getting a lot of ground balls,” Wisdom said. “She has had a lot of walks the last two years, so for her to have only two walks over two games was really good.”
Schneider has dedicated herself to work on her pitching since December and Monte reaped the rewards of her hard work on Friday.
The trip to the other side of the state allowed the Bulldogs to stop worrying about the possibility of rain and prepare for opponents. The trip was also good practice for a possible trip to the 1A state tournament in Richland on May 30. Monte has made an appearance in the state tournament each of the past 16 seasons and will look to add one more to that number this season.
Even though Wisdom was pleased with the offensive performance from the Bulldogs, he said there is still some work to be done before they are ready to extend the streak of state tournament appearances.
“It was nice to see our girls play to our potential,” Wisdom said. “We just need to get the offense going a little bit more, but they are heading in the right direction.”