Sophomore Autumn Heitzman (Yakima, WA., East Valley High School) provides Raiders enough pitching support to get 3-2 win over Chemeketa (0-9) at Inter-Region Tournament. The Raiders kept a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the fourth inning when sophomore Kelby Smith (Puyallup, WA., Rogers High School) hit a two run rbi home run to add to the score. Kelby was 2-3 on the night in the contest. Sophomore Sharon Hazen had a run and two hits as part of the Raiders hit parade (7 hits).
Heitzman (1-0) was one of the major stories in this game. Her complete game involved giving up four hits and two runs. She comes off a season where she ended the year with a 12.43 ERA in her 40 IP. Assistant Coach Jeff Beha said, “She has improved her game a lot over the last year. She has worked for the wins. I look forward to her having a good season. On Friday night, she pitched like a veteran. She did the important things, she pitched by getting strikes and avoiding walks. She had 38 walks in 40 IP a year ago and she knew that if she was going to be effective she would need to pitch more effectively in key situations. If she pitches that way all season, she will make it fun.”
This game brought head coach Amber Coburn her first college win after taking over for Mark Edmonston starting in October. The excitement unfortunately did not last so long as the Raiders ended up falling to Lower Columbia College Red Devils in the nightcap, 18-5. Sophomore Natalie Vollandt pitched through the five inning shortened game. The Raiders got all of their runs in the second game on home runs. Kelby Smith, who was noted for he first game’s home run, provided a second game, a grand slam to support the Raiders in the first inning. Freshman Brittany Camp (Enumclaw, WA., Enumclaw High School) had a late game single home run as they worked to chase the Red Devils.
Assistant Coach Jeff Beha said, “This was a great opportunity for us to get after the season. We came out and got a split, but we played pretty well. The team has an abbreviated non-league season, so we need to learn quickly and make any changes. We were happy with the teams defense in the first game and Smith helped to provide an offensive boost. It ended up being a pretty good day.”
Pierce will be back at the Recreation Athletic Center in Lacey today (Saturday) at 3:00 p.m. vs. Big Bend and a 5:30 p.m. game vs. last year’s NWAC Champion, Wenatchee Valley. Pierce is 1-1 overall after the initial day of the tournament.