The lady Huskies put on a dominating performance this week, shutting out their opponents four times during two doubleheaders. In Thursday, March 21's, first game against Southridge, Othello's defense stopped their opponents cold in a 6-0 win followed by the first of three 10-run wins over the week in game two after scoring five runs in the third and fourth innings for the 10-0 win in game two. Othello head coach Rudy Ochoa said batting practice would be their focus after last weekend's tough losses to Selah and the work paid off Thursday as the Huskies finished with 22 hits over two games. Othello's bullpen put in some impressive work, also, only allowing one hit in each of the games. Freshman pitcher Madison Martinez struck out 10 in game one and senior Kim Bullis racked up seven Ks in game two. "They worked real hard this week to get their hitting down," Ochoa said. "We started off real slow in the first game, but once we started hitting ... there was some pretty sharp hits. So, the work on the hitting has paid off." Ochoa's coaching experience tells him to never let off the pedal and he said there's still room for improvement for Othello's batting. He said Southridge's pitcher gave them some trouble early on. "She was doing a good job mixing up the ball," Ochoa said. "We started hitting her and sooner or later, you're going to start hitting somebody ... our season could be over if we don't come out and do the job." Ochoa hopes the fact almost his entire lineup got hits will help his team build their momentum and confidence going into league play. He said wins like this against a solid 3A team are good for the team. "It's got to be nothing but help," Ochoa said. "I think it gives the girls a lot of confidence - especially beating a 3A team ... for me, that's a good win and I'm sure the girls are feeling the same way." As for the defense and pitching, the fact his team allowed only one hit per game showed Ochoa his players are willing and able to put in long hours at practice to find success. After the tough loss against Selah, the team rallied, worked hard and made the adjustments necessary to pick up some big wins and senior Daisy Salgado said it all comes down to teamwork. "No one got down on themselves so that's good," Salgado said. "And everybody on the field is talking consistently. It's not like one girl's not talking - we all have to be on the same page and that's what helps us out."
Southridge 000 00x x 0 Othello 005 5xx x 10 Othello shuts out East Valley The Huskies softball team continued their dominance Saturday, March 23, completely shutting out the visiting Red Devils on both sides of the ball to pick up two wins. In game one, Othello batters got to work early picking up four runs in the first inning and seven more in the third to dig a hole East Valley couldn't pull themselves out of. After the 12-0 win, the Huskies did more of the same to sweep the series with a 10-0 win to improve their league record to 2-2. Othello's bats were on fire in both games and Ochoa was happy with the way his lineup was able to produce on offense. "We got two back-to-back triples and that was nice," Ochoa said. "Actually, it was top-to-bottom and everybody was hitting well." Senior Kim Bullis hit a homerun in game two and said their three 10-run wins this week sent a message that the league shouldn't count Othello out after their losses to Selah. "We can see what our team's made of by that," Bullis said. "It shows we can come back from a big loss ... this week, we showed how well we can hit and once one person or a few people get a hit, it starts a chain reaction." Along with some excellent fielding that didn't allow a single run all week, Othello's dominance was due to some impressive hitting and Ochoa said it all comes from hard work at practice. "Our defense is holding up really well, plus our hitting is really coming along," he said. "I think the stuff we did earlier in the week is now starting to pay off ... every day, they've been getting in at least 100 cuts apiece (in practice)." Another thing he was proud of was the fact his team didn't slow down at any point in all four games. When the Huskies' bats lit up, everyone in the lineup got onboard and did their part to cause some damage, including a seven-run third inning in game one. "One thing I really liked was we didn't relax," Ochoa said. "Last year, we had a little bit of relaxation when we got ahead of somebody. This time they just kept on putting the pedal down." With a .500 average so far in league play, Ochoa stressed that his team has to keep everything in perspective and play one game at a time. He's happy with the three big wins but knows there's still a long road ahead of them. There are only six playoff slots and the CWAC is a competitive league. He knows his team can't afford to take any breaks if they want to secure a playoff spot. "You hate to put pressure on people, but only the top six get to go on to playoffs and there are six good teams in this league," Ochoa said. "One little slip - lose to somebody we're not supposed to - we could be out of the playoffs." Othello will take a week off before taking a road trip for a doubleheader at Prosser. The Mustangs go into the games with a 0-5 record and Ochoa hopes his team will continue to keep their foot on the accelerator. Last year, Prosser beat the Huskies and he hopes Othello's efficient batting and fielding will turn the tide this time around. "Last year, we didn't hit the ball real well and their pitcher throws a lot of junk," Ochoa said. "We had a hard time hitting her and plus, we made uncharacteristic errors in both of those games. Both of them were one run games, we played bad and still almost won."
Scoreboard East Valley 000 00x x 0 Othello 407 10x x 12