By SVERRE BAKKE
Third-inning home runs by La Center’s Brooke Gaston and Natashia Moore broke open a tight second game of a SWW 1A Trico Division fastpitch double-header with Columbia High here Tuesday.
Gaston’s three-run shot to left off CHS right-hander Andrea Helton broke a 4-4 tie. Two batters later, Moore blasted a two-run homer to right.
Before the inning ended, La Center tallied nine runs for a 13-4 lead. The Wildcats finished off the Bruins in the bottom of the fourth when their sixth run of the inning crossed home plate; by league rule, La Center was declared the winner because it had achieved a 15-run lead after the third inning.
Columbia (1-2 in Trico, 1-6-1 overall) got three runs in the top of the first and added a run in the third to tie the game at 4-all.
Ericka Ziegler had two of Columbia’s three hits and scored a pair of runs. Kristie Morris went 1 for 2 with an RBI single.
In game one, the Bruins mustered one hit and struck out 10 times in a 14-1 loss in five innings. They got their lone run when Rachel Connolly scored on Ziegler’s single in the bottom of the first.
Columbia High 10, at Ste-venson 8: Lacey Delehant and Ericka Ziegler drove in seven of the Bruins’ runs in their April 1 extra-inning victory over the Bulldogs, in Carson.
Delehant, CHS’s clean-up hitter, singled home Monica Blackmer and Rachel Connolly with the go-ahead runs in the top of the eighth inning. For the game, she went 3 for 5 with a triple and four runs batted.
Ziegler was 2 for 5 with a double and three RBIs. She knocked in Claire Stevenson—who stole second to get in scoring position—with an RBI single in the seventh, then scored on Delehant’s triple.
Later in the frame, Delehant tallied the tying run on a fielder’s choice ground out.
Columbia got the game’s first run in the top of the first on a run-scoring single by Delehant that brought in Connolly (3 for 5, 3 runs).
Stevenson countered with a five-run first against CHS right-hander Ilima Caldwell and built an 8-1 lead through four innings.
But from there on it was all Columbia.
Caldwell did her part as she walked two but didn’t allow a hit or run after the fourth inning.
And, after managing just three singles in their first four at-bats, Bruins batters socked 10 hits in their last four.
Columbia’s comeback began in the fifth with a three-run rally that cut Stevenson’s advantage in half.
Caldwell led off the frame with a single and scored on a base hit by Connolly. Stevenson singled to move Connolly to third, stole second, and Ziegler doubled to drive in both runners.
In the sixth, Adrianne DeLay (2 for 4) led off with a double and came home on a fielder’s choice.
The second game of the double-header could not be completed before dark due to a medical emergency involving a Stevenson player. The contest has been rescheduled for next Monday at 4 p.m. in Carson.
Fort Vancouver 7-9, at Col-umbia High 5-9: A two-out single in the top of the seventh inning gave the Trappers the edge in game one of the March 25 non-league double-header.
Early on, though, the game belonged to Columbia, which took a 2-1 lead in the third inning on Kristie Morris’ single and led 4-3 after five full when Morris came home on Lacey Delehant’s RBI groundout.
Fort Vancouver regained the lead in the sixth, however, with a pair of run-scoring singles off CHS starter Ilima Caldwell.
But Columbia made it a new game in the home half of the sixth as Ericka Ziegler scored on Morris’ third RBI base hit of the game.
All told, the Bruins pounded out 15 hits. Morris went 3 for 3 with three RBIs, Ziegler was 2 for 3 with three runs scored, and Delehant and Claire Ste-venson each had two hits.
In the second game, CHS scored four runs in the last of the sixth to tie the score at 9-all; darkness prevented the game from being completed.
Standouts for CHS included Ziegler (3/4, double, triple, 3 runs, RBI), Delehant (3/4, 3 RBIs), Lacey Kruse (3/3, RBI), Stevenson (2 doubles, RBI), Morris (1/2, 2 steals, 2 runs, RBI), DeLay (2/3, RBI) and Connolly (1/3, double, RBI).