Four days of rain evaporated after three Camas base hits in the top of the first inning Monday, at Mountain View.
Lena Richards and Katie Schroeder laced back-to-back singles, and Harli Hubbard brought them both home on a 2-run triple.
“It felt natural,” Hubbard said. “We missed a few outdoor practices, but it didn’t feel like we did.”
Staked with a 3-0 advantage before she even tossed a pitch, Hubbard “just took a breath and threw.” She added a solo home run in the fourth inning. Rio Smith and Richards drove in two more runs in the seventh to help the Papermakers beat the Thunder 6-1.
“You couldn’t have asked for a better start,” said Camas head coach Ken Nidick. “Any time you can add runs on at the end of a game, it’s huge. It takes the wind out of the other team’s sails.”
Mountain View advanced a runner to third base with one out in the sixth. Hubbard snared two hard hits back to the mound and threw the batters out at first base to end the inning. After Camas added two more runs in the top of the seventh, Hubbard induced a ground ball to Schroeder at first base, a strikeout and a fly out to right field to end the game.
“We’re getting better. The team is working hard every day,” Hubbard said. “We’re not there yet, nor should we be. We’ve still got to keep pushing.”
Hubbard has April 23 circled on her calendar. Not only is it her 18th birthday, but it is also the first scheduled league game of the season against Skyview. Getting the opportunity to pitch on that day is one of the greatest gifts she could ever receive.
“I want each game to feel more comfortable than the last,” Hubbard said. “I want it to show the hard work we put into this game.”
With league fast approaching, the Papermakers will try to reschedule the games with Kelso and Kamiakin that were postponed by rain last week. Kelso is a 3A state contender and Kamiakin is the defending 3A state champion. These teams provide challenges the Papermakers crave.
All they need are dry and sunny days to keep delivering base hits.