Camas softball team passes first test in extra innings

Papermakers back on track after two losses

After losing to Battle Ground and Union by a run, the Camas High School softball team turned the tide against Mountain View in extra innings Wednesday.

Katie Schroeder struck out 12 batters and allowed two runs in nine innings pitched for the Papermakers. She also hit a home run in the fourth inning for the first run of the game. Mountain View pitcher Colleen Driscoll countered with a home run in the top of the seventh.

Schroeder and Driscoll continued their duel into the ninth. By then, tiebreaker rules allowed both teams to start the inning off with a runner on second base. After Mountain View gained a 2-1 advantage in the top half, Camas needed to answer.

Allie Hancock hit a ground ball to the second baseman, Tori O’Neill tried to round third base, but she collided with a fielder in her path. The home plate umpire ruled obstruction and awarded the Papermakers with the tying run.

Peyton Bates came into pinch run for Hancock at second base. Emma Jimenez laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to put the winning run on third. Alexis Tiedy stepped up to the plate and hit a soft line drive just a few inches above the third baseman’s glove to bring home the winning run.

“It was a much needed win for us,” said interim head coach Tim Searight. “It gets us back on track to doing what we set out to do at the beginning of the season.”

Searight is in charge of the varsity team while Ken Nidick remains on administrative leave from coaching and teaching pending the outcome of an investigation into a communication issue with students. The Camas School District made the decision on the morning of April 22. The softball players didn’t find out about it until about an hour before they were supposed to play Battle Ground.

After losing 3-2 to Battle Ground that day, and a 4-3 loss to Union five days later, Searight said it was time for him and the girls to go back to the drawing board.

“I tried to do things the way Ken would, but I realized that’s not going to work,” Searight said. “All things considered, I think we are going to come out of this with more confidence. We’ve been tested, and we’re learning how to depend on each other. That’s what that extra inning win was all about.”

Union beat Battle Ground 2-1 Wednesday, which set up a potential three-way tie for first place. Heritage beat Union 5-4 Thursday, putting the Papermakers back in first place in league by one game.

The Papermakers got the bats working again in a 12-0 victory at Evergreen Friday. O’Neill, McKinley Johnson and Tianna Beavens knocked in two runs. Schroeder and Callie Johnson both had an RBI. Maddie Neely and Jimenez scored two runs. Schroeder allowed one hit in the first three innings and gained six strikeouts. Hancock pitched the final three innings before Camas reached the 10-run mercy rule.

Jimenez hit a 3-run home run and added an RBI single to help the Papermakers beat Sandy, Ore., 7-0 Monday, in Camas. Schroeder pitched seven innings of two-hit softball and gained 13 strikeouts. Neely knocked in two runs and Hancock added an RBI. O’Neill collected three hits, stole three bases and scored three runs.

Camas (14-3) plays at Skyview Friday, hosts Heritage Monday and goes to Battle Ground Wednesday, May 13. All three games start at 4 p.m.