Homer softball sweeps Friday doubleheader in Valley; Soldotna sweeps Houston; Kenai splits with Houston

Homer softball sweeps Friday doubleheader in Valley; Soldotna sweeps Houston; Kenai splits with Houston

The Homer Mariners pulled off a softball sweep Friday at the Rally in the Valley tournament at Redington High School, starting with a 4-1 victory over Delta Junction and finishing with a 6-3 win over the Lathrop Malamutes.

The doubleheader sweep pushes Homer’s season record to 10-6 overall. Saturday tournament results were not available as the Clarion went to press.

In Friday’s opener against the Huskies, the Mariners scored twice in both the second and third innings to secure the win in four innings. Annalyn Brown pitched a complete game and gave up a single run on four hits and one walk, while whiffing two.

Kaitlyn Johnson went 2 for 2 with a double and two runs to lead the Mariners offense.

Delta struck first with an RBI single in the first inning. Homer came back in the bottom of the second with a pair of RBI singles from Zoe Adkins and Hannah Hatfield.

The Mariners added to the lead with a series of plays with two outs in the bottom of the third. Brianna Hetrick singled and Johnson doubled, then both scored on a passed ball by Delta’s catcher.

In their 6-3 win over Lathrop, the Mariners scored three times in the bottom of the second to take the lead. Homer trailed 3-1 entering the frame, but two leadoff walks by Hatfield and Kaylin Anderson put things in motion. Brown singled in a run to cut Lathrop’s lead to 3-2, then a two-run single by Kaitlyn Johnson gave Homer a 4-3 lead. Haylee Owen added another run with a single.

Brown hit 2 for 3 with two RBIs, while Johnson and Owen each had two RBIs as well.

Zoe Adkins pitched the first two outs for Homer, giving up a run on two hits and two walks with a strikeout. Brown then finished the last 2 1/3 innings in relief and gave up two runs on two hits and two walks, while striking out four.

Kenai 17, Houston 16

The Kenai Central softball team escaped with their first win of 2019 Friday at Steve Shearer Memorial Ball Park in Kenai.

The win was the first of a doubleheader Friday against Houston, and the Hawks won the second game 21-3 to split the day, leaving Kenai with a 1-7 overall mark this season.

Houston took an early 3-0 lead in the first inning but Kenai came back with six runs in the top of the second, then added two more in the third to go up 8-3.

Houston came back to tie it at 8-all with five runs in the bottom of the third, and Kenai got the lead back with two runs in the fourth and four in the sixth, grabbing a 14-9 lead after five innings.

Kenai scored three times in the sixth inning to go up 17-13, but the Hawks made things interesting by cutting the Kenai lead to one, before the Kards made the final out just in time to preserve the victory.

Kenai head coach John Manley said his squad played well considering they were down a few players to injury.

“We’ve had bad luck this week with injuries,” he said. “But the girls filled in and played well at spots they weren’t used to playing.”

Manley said Kenai starter Lexi Reis pitched well despite dealing with a sore arm.

Reis, Kaidence Harvey and Kylan Lakshas led the team on offense with three hits apiece, and Lakshas drew two walks as well.

Houston 21, Kenai 3, 3 inn.

Kardinals freshman Caitlin Crabb pitched one inning and Reis tossed the last two in a tough loss for Kenai.

Houston kept the batting train going with 15 runs in the first inning to take a daunting lead. Kenai plated two runs in the bottom of the first, but that would be all the Kards would manage.

Manley said Harvey had to leave the game with an injury, leaving just eight players available on the field. Manley said the Kenai outfield was reduced to just two fielders, while the infield had to adjust with players taking up new spots.

On offense, Reis and Nereid Phillips each hit a double to lead the bats.

Soldotna 20, Houston 5; Soldotna 21, Houston 13

The host Stars swept a Northern Lights Conference doubleheader Saturday to move to 3-2 overall and 2-1 in the league.

The Stars took the first game, during which they were technically the visiting team, 20-5 in five innings.

Casey Earll pitched the complete game for the Stars, striking out seven. She also had a huge game at the plate, going 4 for 5 with six RBIs. Also for the Stars, Casey Card was 2 for 3 with three RBIs, Bailey Berger was 4 for 5 with four RBIs and Ashlyn Asp ripped her first career home run in the fifth inning. Lillian Gomez also was 3 for 3.

In the second game, a 21-13 win, the Stars got off to a slow start, doing down 6-0 but scoring five times in the bottom of the first. Earll once again pitched the whole game, striking out nine.

“After having a bunch of games canceled earlier in the season, we’re just trying to get her innings,” Soldotna coach Kelli Knoebel said of Earll.

At the plate, Earll was 2 for 3 with two RBIs, while Gomez was 4 for 5, Ashley McDonald was 2 for 3 with three RBIs and got on base five times, Berger was 2 for 3 and Asp was 3 for 4 with two RBIs.

Knoebel added that Berger used her knowledge of the game to be a great leader on the field.

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