Pierce Softball was able to bring out their offense on Sunday, gathering 17 hits in the first game of a doubleheader north of the border. The Raiders (4-8 league, 6-10 overall) were able to use Raider pitchers Natalie Vollandt’s excellent pitching performance to nail down a 13-7 win over #2 ranked Douglas College (13-3 league, 23-3 overall). The Raiders were not able to continue the offensive performance in the second game, eventually losing 9-1 in 5 inning mercy rule game, after only gaining two hits.
Pierce was able to score early in the first inning, getting two runs off of a Kelby Smith triple down the right field line that scored Michaela Hougland. Smith would then score on an error by the Douglas shortstop that allows Kayla Washington to gain first base. The Raiders would then score three more runs in the third inning to take the lead to 5-0. Natalie Vollandt would use the lead to create a 116 pitch performance over seven innings giving up only five earned runs and four base on balls. Vollandt has seen her E.R.A. dip to 6.84 after a rough loss earlier start in the season. She now has pitched well over her 43 innings. Head Coach Amber Coburn agreed saying, “Natalie pitched a great game. Hitting her spots but knew she had her defense to back her up when Douglas hit the ball.”
Pierce’s performance led to excellent individual experiences in game one. Michaela Hougland was 3-for-5 with a double RBI. Kelby Smith was 3-for 4 with a chance to go for the cycle with a home run in her last at bat. Brittany Camp had two doubles. MaKayla Parkinson was 3-for-4 with 2 RBI’s. Riley Reyes-Redhair was 3-for-4 with three RBI’s.
The Raiders were able to move up in the RPI rankings moving from the #16 seed to the #11 seed with the win from #1 seed Douglas. The RPI ratings are important for the final seven teams that do not finish in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in the North Division, as they will determine final draw for the 16 team tournament in Spokane in May. The game was important for that reason, but also was an important show of the team’s growth. Head Coach Amber Coburn said, “Today’s win was big for us. We are consistently getting better and that was our goal from the beginning. The girls were ready to beat Douglas this time around (Pierce fell in earlier game in a doubleheader in Puyallup in March.) and did a great job doing so with getting the job done at the plate.”
Pierce will take Sunday off before traveling to Everett C.C. (Boy’s and Girl’s Club Field) for a doubleheader at 3:30 p.m.. The Raiders will then return to play doubleheaders against Everett (Wednesday) and Bellevue (Friday) at Heritage Field in Puyallup.
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