Camas softball team scores runs in bunches

Blowing out their rivals

The Skyview softball players met their makers Monday. That’s how the Camas softball players described their endless sixth inning that led to a 17-4 victory.

The Papermakers sent 18 batters to the plate and scored 13 runs on eight hits. Erin Tauscher drove in seven of those runs with a 3-run home run and a grand slam.

She hit a fly ball into left field that just kept gaining altitude. The fielder tracked it, reached for the ball over the fence, but she couldn’t bring it back.

“They had just tied it up, so we needed to do something,” Tauscher said. “I was mad at first because I thought I had just popped it up. When I saw that she didn’t catch it, and that it landed on the other side of the fence, I was stoked.”

A 4-4 ball game turned into a 7-4 advantage for Camas, but the Papermakers were just getting warmed up. Harli Hubbard and Tori O’Neil delivered back-to-back singles. Hannah Welborn reached first base safely to load the bases. Alicia Huegli then came through with a 2-run single.

Cailyn Grindy put the next ball in play, and Welborn beat the throw home for another Camas run. Amee Aarhus, Lena Richards and Katie Schroeder drew bases loaded walks to bring in more runs. Tauscher then cleared the bases with a tee shot to dead center. The only way the fielder was going to bring that ball back was if she was a fast tree climber.

“I didn’t take my eye off that ball,” Tauscher said. “Oh my goodness! I did it! I just hit a grand slam!”

Camas scored 12 runs before Skyview got the first out in the inning. McKinley Johnson added one more run on a fielder’s choice throw to home.

“We told the girls to lay off those high pitches and they made the adjustment,” said Camas head coach Ken Nidick. “Once she brought those pitches down into the zone, we started to unload.”

Hubbard celebrated her 17th birthday, on April 22, by striking out 13 Union Titans.

The Papermakers defeated their crosstown rivals 9-1. Hubbard held Union to just two hits and two walks in seven innings pitched.

After tossing a no-hitter against Skyview the week before, Hubbard didn’t give up a hit to Union through the first three and two-thirds innings. The Titans got their first hit with two outs in the bottom of the fourth and turned it into a run.

Camas responded by scoring six runs in the top of the fifth. Lena Richards led off the inning with a double and came around to score on Schroeder’s third RBI of the game.Welborn singled up the middle to drive in a run, MacKenzie Farnham added an RBI and Rio Smith drew a walk with the bases loaded. Richards came up to hit for the second time in the inning and delivered a 2-run single.

“I’m just happy I could help my team. It was a solid win all-around,” Richards said. “We were so ready and prepared for this game. The rivalry is alive again now that we are back in the same league.

“We are the only team in red and black, and we are going to continue to build and get better,” she added, since Camas and Union have the same school colors.

An eight-run cushion gave Hubbard a chance to catch her breath, get back to basics and concentrate. She was blowing the Titans out in the seventh inning like they were birthday candles.

“Focus,” Hubbard said. “I pitch better when I’m focused. Nobody can touch me when I’m focused.”

Hubbard and Schroeder both have a no-hitter to remember. Each day they pitch is a treasure.

“It’s awesome knowing you have somebody just as good as you to pitch the next game,” Schroeder said. “We are going to have some great stories to tell. We want to be able to say we did all we could in high school.”