The Huskies softball team opened up their season by hosting a jamboree Tuesday, March 12, taking on 1A teams Connell and Quincy in 3-inning contests. Othello won the first game against Quincy easily, shutting the Jacks out by a score of 13-0 and picked up 18 hits in the process. Game two was a defensive battle. There was one hit the entire game, coming off a Connell bunt, but the pitching dual took center stage as the game resulted in a 0-0 draw. Othello head coach Rudy Ochoa was pleased by his team's dominant hitting performance against Quincy and was also impressed by their fearless attitude while facing down Connell pitcher Ashley Thompson's imposing throwing speed. "As far as our hitting in the second game - that's one of the best pitchers in the state," Ochoa said. "But, the girls got up there and they weren't intimidated." While Othello's offense couldn't get anything going in their second game, they had a field day against Quincy's pitching and Ochoa was happy with the team's batting and the fact their defense didn't allow their opponents to get anything going. "We hit the ball real well and our defense looked really good and made some really nice plays," Ochoa said. "They didn't get on base even." The defense in game two was basically the only thing keeping them in the mix and the time spent in games like that will help out during pitching battles like this game throughout the season. "We're going to have to put two and two together and that's the only way you can do it," Ochoa said about games that end up being defensive showcases. "We've been in battles like that before, when it comes right down to the last inning and it's just perseverance." Ochoa was also happy with the way his four pitchers performed. Freshman Madison Martinez, junior Morgan Logan, senior Kim Bullis and freshman Kirsten Quigley all got time in pitching and Ochoa liked what he saw. "I was really happy with all four of our pitchers and they all did real well," Ochoa said. Ochoa said the jamboree was a pretty good start for his team and hopes it prepares them for a fairly tough opening schedule. "I was happy all the way around and I think all the girls played well," he said. "The first game we hit well, second game ... we didn't get any hits, but still, we didn't go up there intimidated. I'm looking forward to the year."
Girls drop both games in doubleheader against Selah The softball team took two losses in their first full games of the season Saturday, March 16, losing 10-0 to Selah in their first game of a doubleheader. The Huskies showed a bit of improvement in game two, pushing the score to one run, but still lost 6-5 against an experienced Vikings team. Othello only managed to get two hits in their first game and a lethal opening volley from Selah in the first inning put up nine runs and one more in the fifth inning knocked the Huskies out with the 10-run rule. Othello head coach Rudy Ochoa said this game obviously didn't go the way they intended and the team is hoping to put this one behind them this week. He said Selah recognized Othello pitcher Morgan Logan was struggling and took advantage with some big hits leading to the 9-0 lead before the Huskies brought in freshman Kirsten Quigley for some relief pitching. "We brought in Kirsten and she did a very good job," Ochoa said. "The bases were loaded when she came in and they finished clearing the bases off, but none of those runs were off of her." Ochoa said he doesn't remember a game where a team took such a commanding lead that early in a game but said the Huskies can focus on positives like the fact they didn't get any errors the whole game. "We got hit 13-2 in the first game ... that just doesn't happen to us very often," he said. "I've never been down nine runs in the first inning ever in my life." In game two, Ochoa said the Huskies knew they couldn't let something like that happen again and played with more confidence. Their batting started to catch its stride and senior pitcher Kim Bullis helped Othello to work hard to avoid getting blown out again. "With Kim's pitching, the girls pretty much rallied behind her," Ochoa said. "They saw that they can play with these guys ... they started realizing what I told them was true - we didn't play bad, but it's just pretty hard to come back from being down that far." Selah still got on the attack first and scored two runs in the second, but Othello answered back with a run of their own in the fourth to bring the score within one. The Huskies scored four more in the seventh to tie it up 5-5 thanks to efforts from players like Holly Fleshman with two-for-four and Sofia Rodriguez who went two-for-three in game two. The game was pushed into extra innings, but Othello couldn't get anything going in the eighth, leaving the game-winning runner stranded. Selah's Taylor Roth was the leadoff hitter and took the first pitch yard for a walk-off homerun and the win. Ochoa said his girls showed a lot of determination to force the game to the extra inning, but there wasn't much they could do to prevent a big homerun like Roth's from happening. The Huskies will face off against Southridge tonight at home and will host East Valley for a doubleheader Saturday beginning at 11 a.m. Ochoa said their main focus for these games is to focus on hitting. "We're going to work on hitting big time," he said. "We've been hitting the ball well in practice, but apparently, it's a lot different when you get out (to a game)."