The Rainier Mountaineers (2-0) ran up the score early in the second inning against Morton-White Pass (1-2) and scored 10 runs to earn a 13-2 win Monday night at home.
Rainier had 19 hits over five innings. Pitcher Bailey Elwell tallied 15 strikeouts and allowed just three hits.
The week prior against Stevenson, Elwell threw a 19-strikeout no-hitter in an 11-1 win.
Second baseman Miah Reynolds was three-for-four with three RBIs and a run.
Elwell led in runs against MWP with three. Alyssa Lofgren, Brooklynn Swenson, Emily Karnes, and Raychel Hansen all scored two runs.
Kyle Greenwood, the Mountaineers head coach who’s in his second season leading the team, said the difference has been the confidence of the team coming to the plate and staying tuned-in on the field.
“We have a lot of girls that are just so solid, but just lack maybe this kind of experience at the 2B level … They’re doing a good job of acclimating,” Greenwood said. “Our goals for the season are for sure just enjoy being able to play because it’s a privilege, it’s not a right, and we’re very, very thankful that things have been good.”
The Mountaineers have a relatively young team this year. Greenwood said they lost three solid seniors last year following the cancelled season, but the group is still tight-knit and relatively deep.
It’s likely there will be district opportunities for teams in the Central 2B League this season, depending on coronavirus transmission rates.
“That comradery piece is huge. That translates so much, because now you don’t have any pills that you’re trying to root out and you’re not squashing any egos. Everyone’s pulling for the same because everyone has the same goals, and that’s nice,” Greenwood said.
Morton-White Pass Head Coach Derek Bowen noted Rainier’s solid pitching.
“She was really methodical about giving our girls some tough balls and tough looks,” Bowen said of Elwell, adding later: “We’re going to build off what we did tonight and hopefully build off our defensive momentum and get those bats hot.”
The Timberwolves got their first hit in the third inning. Senior Kylie Davis hit a single into left field and stole two bases on the next at-bat. Senior Jaiden Linder bunted, allowing Davis to dash home for the Timberwolves’ first run.
On the 0-2 pitch, a base hit by Timberwolves senior Chloee Justice allowed Linder to score from second base.
Linder, Davis and Justice proved crucial for Morton-White Pass offensively against Rainier, but Bowen said they’ve also been solid in the field.
Justice, who pitched second-half relief, only allowed two runs and struck out two batters in two-and-a-half innings. She also allowed no walks.
Davis has also been good at shortstop, Bowen said.
“She’s normally an outfielder, but she was solid for us tonight,” he said.