(By Geno Ludwig)
Koler home run lifts Cougars past Eagles…
Chewelah had a busy weekend, clinching a berth in the state tournament, upsetting league power Lakeside in the district semifinals and getting in a shootout with eventual district champion Deer Park.
Deer Park’s Jaylee Lane hit a walk-off two-run homer with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning last Saturday at Lakeside to defeat Chewelah 13-11 in extra innings in the championship game of the District 7 Softball Tournament.
Now, it is a waiting game for both Deer Park and the Lady Cougars. Both have earned automatic berths into the state softball tournament to be played in the Tri-Cities next week. It will be Sunday before they learn their first round opponents.
The title game was tied 11-11 at the end of the seven-inning game after the Lady Cougars roared back from an 11-4 deficit with seven runs in their last three at-bats. The tie forced an extra inning to be played, and Lane’s decisive dinger won the game for the Stags. Chewelah’s loss in the championship game was preceded by two district tournament wins for the Cougars. They outscored Medical Lake 12-8 with a 14-hit barrage on Friday as Jaelynn Skok hit 3-for-5 with two runs batted in.
Then, Maddie Koler’s two-run blast over the centerfield fence with Jamie Eide aboard gave them an upset victory over league champion Lakeside on Saturday.
The Cougars led Medical Lake 6-0 after four innings. However, the visiting Cardinals rallied late in the game, scoring five runs in their fifth at-bat to close the gap to 6-5. Chewelah answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning and three more in the sixth inning to put the game on ice for the 12-8 win.
Krislyn Koler’s single scored cousin Maddie Koler in the opening inning for a 1-0 Chewelah lead. Singles by Skok, Eide, and Bailey Smith added three runs in the Cougar half of the third inning to widen the lead to 4-0. Eide’s double into the leftfield gap brought Larissa Sweat and Smith home to extend the lead to 6-0.
When Medical Lake surprisingly came to life at the plate in the fifth inning with five hits and as many runs to narrow the score to 6-5, Chewelah quickly responded. Singles from Zandra Nelson, Sweat, Smith, Skok, and Eide added three runs to the Cougar side of the scoreboard, giving them a 9-5 lead.
Both teams scored three runs in the sixth inning. Medical Lake’s three runs again made it a close ballgame at 9-8, but, again Chewelah came to bat in the bottom of the inning with three runs of its own for the 12-8 win. A double to the centerfield fence by Tylee Frizzell sent Krislyn Koler home. Another two-bagger by Sweat scored Frizzell and Haley Kuk.
Skok’s three hits led Chewelah at the plate. Eide, Nelson, Sweat, and Smith each finished the game with two hits.
Chewelah 2, Lakeside 0
Maddie Koler’s two-run blast over the centerfield fence combined with the three-hit pitching of Jaelynn Skok gave the Cougars their 2-0 upset victory over Lakeside on Saturday.
Neither team scored through the first five innings. Lakeside had two baserunners and Chewelah had three, but none made it past third base. Eide came to bat with one out in the top of the sixth inning and singled into left field. Koler then hammered the ball over the fence in deep centerfield to score Eide and herself for the first and only runs of the game.
With a 2-0 lead, the Cougars sent the Eagles back to the dugout in order in the bottom of the sixth inning on two fly outs and a ground out. Lakeside threatened with three baserunners in its final at-bat, but none of them got past second base as Chewelah put out the fire for the win.
Skok notched the pitching win, limiting the Eagles to three hits. Eide led the Cougars in the batter’s box with two hits. Kuk, Sweat, and Maddie Koler each had one, with Koler’s homer being the game-winner.
DP 13, Chewelah 11
Deer Park scored 11 runs in the first four innings to take a commanding 11-4 lead over Chewelah in Saturday’s district championship game. Then, Cougar bats started to find holes in the Stag defense to tie the game at 11-11 at the end of regulation innings.
However, after the come from behind effort by Chewelah, Jaylee Lane’s walk-off homer in the eighth inning earned the 13-11 tournament championship pennant for Deer Park.
The Cougars could not keep up with Deer Park at the plate in the first five innings. Krislyn Koler’s single scored Eide in the first inning, Frizzell’s single brought home the Koler cousins in the third inning, and Skok hit a single to score Smith in the fourth. Nonetheless, Chewelah found itself behind 11-4 going into the fifth inning.
Then, things started to happen.
Chewelah batted through its roster in the top of the fifth frame, scoring five runs on hits by Krislyn Koler, Nelson, Smith, and Skok. Those runs tightened the score to 11-9.
Krislyn Koler singled, stole second and third bases, and was batted in by Nelson to make it an 11-10 one-run deficit after six innings.
In the top of the seventh inning, Eide singled, went to second base on a ground out, advanced to third on a Stag error, and raced home on a pitch that got past the Deer Park catcher. Her run knotted the game at 11 runs apiece.
Chewelah had the potential winning run on third base in the top of the eighth inning. Kennedy Robison singled, and was bunted to second base by Sweat. She continued to third base on a passed ball and waited to be batted in.
Unfortunately, two fly outs stranded her there.
Lane’s home run in the bottom of the eighth inning won the game and the district championship for Deer Park, 13-11.
Krislyn Koler, Skok, and Eide each had three hits for the Cougars. Nelson had two singles.
Lakeside and Colville still have an opportunity to join Chewelah and Deer Park in the state tournament. Lakeside hosts Omak and Colville travels to Leavenworth, with the winners advancing to the state finale.
CHEWELAH 2, LAKESIDE 0
Chewelah: 000 002 0 = 2 5 2
Lakeside: 000 000 0 = 0 3 1
Pitching: Chewelah – Skok and Kuk; Lakeside – Claassen and Kinzel W-Skok L-Claassen
Hitting: Chewelah-Eide 2, M.Koler, Kuk, Sweat Lakeside-Charbonneau, Clark, Sheldon 2B-Charbonneau HR-M.Koler
DEER PARK 13, CHEWELAH 11
Chewelah: 102 151 10 = 11 13 3
Deer Park: 451 100 02 = 13 16 6
Pitching: Chewelah – Sweat, Skok (5) and Kuk; Lakeside – M.Erickson, Lane (5) and Butler. W-Lane. L-Skok.
Hitting: Chewelah-Skok, Eide 3, K.Koler 2, Sweat, M.Koler, Smith, Frizzell, Nelson. Deer Park-P.Erickson 4, Butler 3, O.Erickson 3, Hodgeson 2, Lane 2, M.Erickson 2. 2B-Nelson, Skok, Lane, P.Erickson 2, M.Erickson 2, Hodgeson, Butler. 3B-Hodgeson. HR-Lane.