The teams were evenly matched.
Lower Columbia College converted 26 hits into 22 runs, while Chemeketa parlayed 28 hits into 18 runs. In the end, the Red Devils came out on top, sweeping the Storm in an NWAC South Region softball doubleheader on Heerensperger Field on Tuesday at Tam O’Shanter Park.
LCC (7-5, 5-3 region) won the opener 13-10, and took the nightcap 9-8. The sweep dropped Chemeketa to 10-10 and 3-6 in the region.
“I told the team that’s what softball is all about with two competitive games,” LCC coach Traci Fuller said. “I also told them this was out first sweep in region play. We’re growing, and it was good to get a sweep. All of the teams are tough in the Southern Region.”
While both games were played in light rain, there were no rain delays. The opener lasted 2 hours, 35 minutes, with the nightcap going 2:03.
“The weather was rough today,” Fuller said. “That’s the ugliest we’ve been with errors (five), but both teams had to play in the same conditions. It’s also tough since we can’t practice outdoors.”
Chemeketa got a three-run homer in the first inning of the opener, and added a run in the second inning before the Devils got their footing. LCC parlayed four walks and three singles into three runs in the bottom of the second, and added four runs in the fourth highlighted by a solo homer from Hannah Rothwell and a two-run single from Shanay Dotson.
The Storm scored twice in the fifth, and the Devils came back with another Rothwell solo blast, and a three-run double from Sam Boyce as part of a five-run inning and a 13-6 lead. Chemeketa scored four runs in the top of the seventh, and left two baserunners stranded.
“Neither team would give up,” Fuller said. “We were within a run of eight-running them each game, but they would come back and wouldn’t give up. They had great energy, and we fed off that energy which made the game go back and forth.”
Dotson finished with three singles, two runs scored and three RBIs, Bailey Hockett had a double and single, and Rothwell scored three runs.
In the nightcap, Chemeketa swatted a two-run homer in the first inning, but the Devils came back with five runs in the third. The big blows in the frame were a two-run double from Rothwell, and RBI two-baggers from Mariah Mendez and Jessica Gibson. The Devils added four runs in the fifth on back-to-back solo homers from Boyce and Christine Robbins, and a two-run single by Dotson.
The Devils were again a run away from ending the game via the mercy rule, but the Storm scored once in the sixth, and exploded for five runs in the seventh. Chemeketa left the game-tying and go-ahead runs stranded when the final out was recorded.
Gilbertson had two of the Devils’ 14 hits and scored twice. Hockett added two singles, Robbins also hit a single, scored twice and knocked in two runs, and Gibson also had a single.
LCC is slated to host Grays Harbor in a makeup twinbill at 3 p.m. Wednesday on Heerensperger Field.
“Grays Harbor offered to forfeit on Saturday because they had a lot of sick players, but I refused to accept it,” Fuller said. “We wanted to reschedule the games when their players were better because we needed the game, and they’re grateful for that. Hopefully the rains holds off, and the field gets a little drier.”