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Lewiston softball combines for 41 runs in doubleheader sweep against Sandpoint

Apr. 21—Lewiston softball coach Jesse Roehl challenged his team to get more hits in Game 2 of a doubleheader against Sandpoint on Saturday at Airport Park after the Bengals won the opener 7-2 courtesy of strong pitching from junior Jenna Barney.

The message was received.

Lewiston tallied 22 hits as a team and blitzed to a 34-1 mercy-rule victory over the Bulldogs in the nightcap to earn the nonleague doubleheader sweep.

"I just challenged them between the games to be more aggressive and to hit like we know we can," Roehl said. "The first game, we were a little timid, but we just came out swinging. ... We were aggressive and swinging at good pitches and didn't let anything go by."

Putting an end to it early

The Bengals (8-6) responded to Roehl's message of "get more hits" quickly.

Lewiston's leadoff hitter, freshman Morgan Thayer, was walked to start the bottom of the first inning.

Sophomore Ava Thorson was next to bat, and while facing a 2-2 count, she smacked a two-run home run over the right field fence to put the Bengals in front 2-0. It was her second homer of the year.

Two at-bats later, Ashland Schnell ripped the first pitch she saw over the fence for her own second homer of the year, a two-run shot to put the Bengals up 4-0 with no outs.

"I think it was the longest ball that I've seen either of them hit," Roehl said. "They saw that ball really well and kept their weight back, and that's what I challenged them to do: really keep their weight back and let the ball get to them and explode."

By the end of the first inning, the Bengals put up 11 runs and had gone through their entire lineup.

Lewiston went through its lineup three times on Saturday, with two coming in the same inning.

The Bengals rotated through their lineup twice in the bottom of the fourth, putting up 16 runs on 11 hits.

Schnell does well

Schnell pitched all five innings in Game 2 and threw 47 strikes on 55 pitches. The junior allowed one earned run on three hits and struck out eight in a victorious effort.

"She just had a little extra velocity today," Roehl said. "Her fastball has a lot of movement, and it kept them off balance, and she did a great job of pumping strikes in there. She was aggressive in the circle."

Schnell was 2-for-2 at the plate and had four RBI in the nightcap for Lewiston.

Barney led the Bengals at the dish in Game 2, finishing 4-for-6 with four RBI and two doubles.

Junior Mayonna Miller contributed four hits, including a double, and drove in four runs for Lewiston. Senior Hanna Shepard added four singles and four RBI.

Barney's big day

Barney recorded 17 of the Bengals' 21 outs in Game 1.

The junior pitcher allowed no earned runs on four hits and struck out 17. She walked just one out of 28 batters faced.

Barney went the distance and threw 73 strikes on 104 pitches. Her 17 strikeouts were a career high.

"That's pretty darn good out of 21 outs," Roehl said. "That's pretty amazing. She brings it every day. She's a competitor, and when her changeup is on, there aren't many people who can touch her."

Thorson had a team-high three hits in Game 1, including a triple.

Cashing in on miscues

The Bulldogs (3-13) committed 18 fielding errors in the twinbill, and Lewiston was able to capitalize with some savvy base running.

The Bengals scored 13 runs off of Sandpoint's miscues.

"We practice base running almost every day," Roehl said. "We're really aggressive on the bases, and when we can, we're going to take the extra base. I'm really proud of them using what we do in practice."

GAME 1

Sandpoint 200 000 0—2 4 6

Lewiston 303 010 x—7 8 2

Ainsley Hull and Bailey Lancaster; Jenna Barney and Caitrin Reel.

Sandpoint hits — Kaylee McCown, Teagan Newsom, Sara Bryson, Hull

Lewiston hits — Ava Thorson 3 (3B), Barney (2B), Shelby Arellano (2B), Beccah Hogaboam, Mayonna Miller, Taren Nuxoll

GAME 2

Sandpoint 000 10—1 3 12

Lewiston (11)25 (16)x—34 22 2

Hull, Newsom (1), Lily Meyers (3) and Lancaster; Ashland Schnell and Hanna Shephard.

Sandpoint hits — Peyton Cessna (2B), McCown, Abi Miller

Lewiston hits — Barney 4 (2 2B), Shepard 4 (2B), Miller 4, Morgan Thayer 3 (2B), Thorson 2 (HR), Schnell 2 (HR), Caitrin Reel 2, Hogaboam

Pixley may be contacted at (208) 848-2290, tpixley@lmtribune.com or on Twitter @TreebTalks