Lady Broncos earn spilt with Pocatello in district opening doubleheader
BLACKFOOT — Coming into her final at-bat of the game against Pocatello, Blackfoot senior catcher Matti Chavez had not had a very memorable day at the plate.
But as can often be the case in softball, one swing of the bat can change all of that.
Chavez came up to bat in the bottom of the fourth inning and promptly took a 1-2 pitch from Pocatello pitcher Shayla Baker and deposited over the left field fence for a grand slam as the Lady Broncos earned a doubleheader sweep with Pocatello losing game one 8-3 before winning game two 16-3 in five innings.
Chavez's grand slam was the highlight of a five-run fourth inning for the Broncos and her only hit of the game, but it was not the only impact the senior had on the games.
Chavez threw out four Indians base runners, three of those coming in game two.
After being held to just three runs in game one by Pocatello pitcher Shayla Baker, head coach Matt Chavez told his team between games that they needed to focus on their approach when in the batters box.
His team was listening.
The Broncos scored runs in each inning including seven in the third and sending 12 hitters to the plate in each of the last two innings to earn the split for the day.
A trio of two-RBI hits were the keys to the inning for Blackfoot.
Anicia Luna and Taylor Beers each had RBI singles and Cassandra Clarke ripped a double of the base of the left field fence to blow the game open for the Broncos.
Beers and her sister Ashlyn had quite the afternoon at the plate.
Taylor finished the day 5-for-8 with two RBI, Ashyln went 6-for-7 with two RBI.
The offensive explosion was more than enough for Hadlie Henderson in the circle. Literally minutes after helping lead the junior varsity team to a victory over Pocatello, Henderson trotted over to the varsity field stepped in the circle and helped lead another team to victory.
After giving up a could of early home runs, Henderson calmed down and allowed just eight hits and three runs in the game while striking out four hitters.
The game two victory helped to get the Broncos minds of the lackluster effort in game one when it seemed like nothing was going to go the Broncos way.
After jumping out to an early 2-0 lead the Broncos defense had a series of breakdowns that led to five Pocatello runs in the fourth inning and another three in the fifth. The six run deficit was too much for the Broncos to dig out from.
With normal starter Morningrose Tobey nursing an injury Chavez leaned on his youth in the circle and it paid dividends and gave both Wright and Henderson some much needed experience as the season shifts full force into district play.
But the Broncos know that the game one effort will not be good enough going forward if the team hopes to repeat at 4A District 5/6 champions.
Luckily the Broncos do not play another district game for another week. the team with travel to Skyline on Thursday for a make-up game before hosting city rival Snake River on Saturday.
Clarke added five hits and four RBI for Balckfoot, Henderson went 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Blackfoot plays at Skyline Thursday at 4:30 p.m.
Pocatello 8, Blackfoot 3
Pocatello 000 530 0 — 8 8 3
Blackfoot 101 001 0 — 3 9 3
Pocatello — Shayla Baker and Kristen Stucki. Blackfoot — Kelcey Wright and Matti Chavez. 2B — Kealee Hewatt (Poky), Danny Jorgenson (Poky), Cassandra Clarke (BHS).
Blackfoot 16, Pocatello, 5 inn
Pocatello 201 00 — 3 8 4
Blackfoot 317 5x — 16 17 0
Pocatello — Shayla Baker and Kristen Stucki. Blackfoot — Hadlie Henderson and Matti Chavez.
2B — Cassandra Clarke (BHS). HR — Cierra Cooper (Poky), Kristen Stucki (Poky), Matti Chavez (BHS)