CHS softball team off to sizzling start

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Harli Hubbard was untouchable against Washougal March 18, at Camas. The Papermakers beat the Panthers 18-0 in five innings.

With the help of her Papermaker sisters, Harli Hubbard was untouchable against Washougal March 18 at Camas High School.

The senior struck out 10 Panthers and surrendered two walks and zero hits in five innings pitched. That’s all it took for the Papermakers to win the softball game 18-0.

Camas put five runs on the board in the first inning, three in the second, seven in the third and three in the fourth.

Hubbard went 2-for-4 at the plate with a triple, single, 2 RBI and 3 runs scored. Lena Richards drove in two runs on two hits and scored four times. Katie Schroeder and Cailyn Grindy delivered 2-run singles in the first inning. Jennifer Ross added an RBI single in the first.

Brooke Croeni became Washougal’s first baserunner on a swinging strike three that got past Richards behind the plate. The next Panther bunted the ball square. Richards leaped out of the catching position and threw the batter out to end the top of the second inning. Washougal got two more runners on base by a walk and a hit by pitch, but Hubbard came back with strikeouts and induced ground balls to her teammates in the field.

Camas defeated Emerald Ridge 3-0 Saturday. A couple of mental mistakes allowed the Jaguars to get the tying runs on base in the last inning, but the Papermakers didn’t crack under the pressure.

“It was a sweet victory after they beat us twice last year,” said head coach Ken Nidick. “All those nuances about the game that people don’t see can either make you or break you. If we can continue to work on the little things in practice, we can eliminate those mistakes that creep up from time to time.”

Schroeder took the softball, tossed it for six scoreless innings and gained 10 strikeouts. Hubbard delivered a 2-run single in the fourth inning and Richards added an RBI single in the fifth.

“I wouldn’t want to pitch in front of another defense,” Schroeder said. “We started off the season strong, but we need to keep going strong every game, every inning, every at-bat, every pitch and every play. That’s our motto.”

Emerald Ridge loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the seventh inning. Richards snared a ground ball and threw the lead runner out at home plate.

“It was just a routine play, but it got everybody excited,” Richards said. “Our work isn’t finished out here, but we have a good base to build on.”

Hubbard shut the door on the Jaguars by striking out their last two batters.

“I felt prepared,” she said. “All I had to do was pitch. I knew the team had my back.”

Washougal got in the swing of things Thursday. The Panthers beat Stevenson in a doubleheader by the scores of 2-1 and 22-7.

Becca Bennett went 3-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI in the first game. Kayla Lagerquist also knocked in a run. Courtney Shelley pitched seven innings on 1-run ball with five strikeouts.

Washougal pounded the softball in the second game. Croeni had four hits and an RBI. Lagerquist drove in two runs and picked up the pitching victory. Madison Monroe, Madisen Baldwin and Brooke Wolfe also knocked in runs.

The Panthers defeated Fort Vancouver 15-2 Monday. Lagerquist struck out 11 Trappers.