After being on the outside looking in the last two seasons,
the Columbia Basin College softball team is headed back to the NWAACC
The Hawks, who finished 16-12 in conference play,
edged Treasure Valley by one game to the earn the third seed from the
East Region. The Chukars finished fourth.
“We knew going into
Walla Walla we had to win at least one game to give us a good chance,”
said CBC coach Adrian Ochoa, whose team beat the Warriors 12-1 and 3-1
last Saturday. “We wanted the sweep to keep it in our hands and not have
to rely on anyone else. It was a good day.”
The Hawks (25-19 overall) open tournament play at 9:30 a.m. Friday against Lower Columbia at Delta Park in Portland.
Lower Columbia (23-16), the 2012 runner-up, is the No. 4 seed from the South Region.
haven’t played them this year,” Ochoa said of the Red Devils. “They are
a pretty consistent program, and they have won numerous titles (10). I
like our draw. I was hoping for a higher seed (they are No. 10), but you
have to beat everyone to win it all.”
This season, the Hawks forged a huge turnaround from last year, when they went 6-22 in conference play and 12-31 overall.
year was pretty tough,” Ochoa said. “To go through a season like last
year, the sophomores’ goal was to come back and make it to the
tournament. They didn’t want to go through that again.”
turn things around, Ochoa brought in a good group of freshman, including
Richland grad Bailey Walthers, who leads the team in hitting at .452,
with 47 hits, six doubles and 19 RBIs.
“Bailey is definitely a
spark plug for us on offense,” Ochoa said. “She hits the ball well and
gets on base. She was second-team all-region. That was pretty cool for
Sophomore Brenda Rodriguez (Othello), who was a second-team
all-region utility player, will get the start for the Hawks on Friday.
stepped up pretty big the last few weeks,” Ochoa said. “She has had to
throw a lot of innings. She’s a competitor. She likely will see a
majority of the innings this weekend.”
Also bringing a spark to
the team is sophomore Miranda Martinez, who went from first base to
catcher as the Hawks lost their starter behind the plate a third of the
way through the season.
“Miranda has done really well this year,”
Ochoa said of the Othello native. “She caught a little in high school,
but it wasn’t her primary position — but it is now.
earning East Region honors were sophomore outfielder Ashlen Ayers (first
team) and sophomore infielder Maddie Chambers (second team).
Published with permission of the Tri-City Herald. Additional news stories can be accessed online at the Tri-City Herald
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