Whittell softball sweeps Coleville on the road, moves closer to postseason
COLEVILLE, Calif. — The Whittell softball team delivered a sweep on the road Monday, April 25, to move within a win of the postseason. The Warriors downed Coleville with a pair of double-digit wins, extending their league winning streak to three games.
“It’s nice to have that weight off our shoulders, but I don’t want that to go to their heads and cause them to take a step back,” Warriors coach Kelly Megee said. “I want them to keep fighting and keep getting better every single inning and every single game.”
Whittell (4-5-2, 3-1 IV West) broke free late in the first game for an 18-3 victory. The Warriors and Wolves were tied 2-2 into the fourth inning before the visitors got their bats going to win in decisive fashion.
“Their pitcher struggled throughout the game to find her strike zone. At first our girls weren’t swinging at the best pitches, and were taking themselves out of at-bats,” Megee said. “They figured out that they just needed to be patient and get the right pitch. We ended up with some good base hits and quite a few walks.”
Senior Kelsey Kjer threw a complete game for Whittell in the win. The right-hander kept Coleville (7-5, 1-4) in check, and only one of the three runs she allowed was earned.
In the second game, the Warriors erased an early deficit en route to a 22-9 win. Whittell trailed 8-3 after the first inning before bouncing back for a lopsided victory.
Whittell opened the scoring with three runs in the top of the first, but Coleville answered with eight in the bottom half against Warriors starter Madison Idso. Kelsey Kjer replaced the junior in the second and allowed one run the rest of the way as the visitors mounted a comeback.
“I knew we could come back with runs, but I didn’t want it to be a back-and-forth battle,” Megee said. “Kelsey did a phenomenal job of going in there and shutting them down, and we came back with the bats.”
In the twinbill, sophomore Kaitlyn Kjer went a combined 6-for-8. Megee said Whittell’s leadoff hitter getting on base is key to the team’s offensive success.
“Kaitlyn is a hard person to get out, which is why I like to have her lead off,” Megee said. “When she’s up there, I count on her getting on base — and if we can get her over to second then she is in scoring position for the middle of the lineup.”
After a winless start in its first six games of the season, Whittell has won four of its last five contests. In league play, the Warriors have averaged nearly 17 runs per game.
“We’ve definitely had a lot of runs, which I love,” Megee said. “Hitting, for me, is the most fun part of the game — when you get to pass the bat on and on.”
Whittell is currently second behind Smith Valley (7-4, 5-1) in the league standings, and a win in one of its next two games would lock up a playoff spot. The Warriors host Virginia City (5-8, 3-0) at Lampe Park on Friday, April 29, at 3 p.m. — and conclude league play at the Muckers five days later.
“I don’t want them to settle. I want them to keep fighting,” Megee said. “We want to win as many games as possible. The girls know they can and I know they can. We both have the same expectations.”