Pullman Greyhounds sprint ahead of Colton Wildcats in prep softball action

Apr. 19—COLTON — The Pullman Greyhounds put on a quality three-level showing of pitching, offense and defense to down the Colton Wildcats in a cross-classification softball clash on Thursday at Colton High School. The Washington Class 2A Greyhounds downed the Class 2B Wildcats 12-3.

"I think that Colton's a good team," Pullman coach Brooke Dahmen said. "And I think our pitchers dialed in and our batters went up aggressive and ready to swing the bat. ... I think we did a good job of feeding off each other."

The teams were on an even level to begin the game, but Pullman (4-7) quickly tilted the scales in its favor.

Greyhounds pull ahead

Both teams put up three runs in the first inning and were held scoreless in the second. The 3-3 tie didn't hold for long.

Colton (11-2) failed to score the rest of the game whereas the Greyhounds put up at least one run in every inning.

In the top of the third, a sacrifice grounder by Kinsey Rees brought home Taylor Cromie. Sophie Armstrong hit an RBI single the next at-bat to give Pullman a 5-3 lead.

Pullman had a strong day at the plate. The Greyhounds scored their 12 runs on 15 hits.

Cromie accounted for almost a third of those hits. In addition to crossing home plate three times, she had four hits, including a triple and a solo home run.

"We just went out there and had fun," Cromie said. "Didn't take it too seriously. It was a fun game overall."

Cromie stood out in the game with her multi-base hits, but Pullman's lineup top-to-bottom put on a show.

Pullman gets the bats cracking

Cromie's day at the plate was just part of the show that the Greyhounds' offense put on. Nine out of 10 Pullman batters who recorded an at-bat had either a hit or an RBI.

Charisse Kapofu also had four hits for the Greyhounds. Rees, in addition to her efforts in the circle, connected for two doubles.

Pullman's efforts at the plate were backed up with its defense.

'Cats left stranded

Pullman's pitchers, starter Sophie Armstrong and reliever Rees, combined to strike out eight Colton batters and let up three hits.

The Wildcats struggled at the plate, but still got on base in other ways.

Colton was walked nine times on Thursday and had three batters hit by pitches.

Starting pitcher Kiya Soza and Leah Musson led the home team's offense with a double apiece.

With that many potential scorers, the Greyhounds' defense still held strong. All 12 of the Wildcats' base runners were left stranded.

Thursday's game didn't have any league implications but did provide some bragging rights, considering some players on both teams play together in travel ball.

"I play with a lot of those girls on my club team, so that helped," Cromie said. "We all know each other really well. ... I loved it. Next club practice I'm definitely going to hear from (the Colton) players and stuff. But, yeah. It was a fun game and I love playing with all the girls."

It also can prove to be a season-defining game for both squads.

Pullman starting to roll, Colton still standing strong

Thursday marked the first time this season that Pullman has won consecutive games. It also marked the second loss this season for Colton.

Three of the five games remaining on the Wildcats' schedule are league contests. The rest of the eight games on the schedule for the Greyhounds are also league matchups.

Even with the separation in classifications, defeating a quality Colton team is a good confidence-builder for Pullman.

For the Wildcats, Thursday's contest can prove to be a learning experience for the talented squad that is still the favorite to win the Southeast 1B League crown.

"We got defense today, that's what I've been after," Colton coach Brad Nilson said. "Our defense worked. When we got a ball (hit) to us we got it. I'm disappointed our bats weren't there, but I'm glad we saw somebody who could hit the ball at us. Because we've been missing that. ... This is the fastest pitcher we've seen all season, which helps us. ... A loss is good for everyone. It brings you down to size. I think it humbled us, and that's what we needed."

Pullman 302 221 2—12 15 2

Colton 300 000 0— 3 3 2

Sophie Armstrong, Kinsey Rees (5) and Taylor Cromie; Kiya Soza and Meredith Bell.

Pullman hits — Cromie 4 (3B, HR), Charisse Kapofu 4, Rees 2 (2-2B), Armstrong 2, Ella Ferry (3B), Taylore Wolfe, Juliana Stewart.

Colton hits — Soza (2B), Leah Musson (2B), Ella Nollmeyer.

Kowatsch can be contacted at 208-848-2268, or on Twitter @Teren_Kowatsch.