West Albany High coach Ryan Borde feels like his softball team’s batting lineup is dangerous one through nine.
But it all starts at the top.
It was no different on Wednesday.
Like they have done all season, Presley Jantzi and Riley Ramirez set the table and the rest of the lineup fed off that as the No. 4-seeded Bulldogs cruised to an 18-1 victory over No. 13 Churchill in the 5A round of 16.
West (23-3) hosts No. 5 seed Pendleton, a 12-7 winner over Thurston, in Friday's quarterfinals. Pendleton (17-9) finished third in the Intermountain Conference.
Jantzi and Ramirez were each on base four times and scored four runs as the Bulldogs sent 36 batters to the plate.
“Those first two hitters especially with their speed, Jantzi and Ramirez, and the weapons they bring to the box, they set the tone for everything we do offensively,” coach Ryan Borde said. “They get on, that speed — we say speed kills and I think you see it with those two. They can swing away, they can bunt, they can slap.”
That speed and ability to get on base was evident from the start. Jantzi reach on a bunt single on a ball that died right in front of the plate, then Ramirez bunted for a base hit and Jantzi went to third.
After Ramirez stole second, Ellie Babbitt hit a grounder to shortstop that was thrown away and just like that the Bulldogs led 2-0.
“They immediately put pressure on them those first couple pitches of the game and I think that kind of deflated Churchill a little bit and showed that we were ready to play,” Borde said.
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It was just the beginning of an offensive outburst that was constantly putting pressure on the Lancers.
After a flyout, McKenzie Kosmicki ripped a triple to right and scored on an errant throw to make it 4-0.
In the second, No. 9 batter Sidnee Holloway singled, Jantzi walked and Ramirez reached on a bunt single.
Babbitt then sent a ball over the second baseman that went to the fence for a three-run triple and a 7-0 lead. Mahayla Gamble then doubled in Babbitt for an 8-0 lead.
The top of the order did it again in the third. With two outs and the bases empty, Jantzi singled and stole second. Ramirez grounded one to the pitcher but sprinted to first and beat out the high throw and Jantzi scored from second.
Babbitt tripled for the second time, Gamble doubled and Kosmicki singled to put the Bulldogs up 12-0. A wild pitch pushed the lead to 13-0.
“We challenge these girls that every inning is 0-0,” Borde said. “It’s no disrespect to any team, that’s a great program over there, but we’re trying to get somewhere, to the state title game, and so our girls are trying to make sure we have quality at-bats. And regardless of what the score is we’re going into that box expecting great things.”
The Bulldogs put up five more runs in the fifth and Gamble struck out 10 and allowed four hits in the circle.
Jantzi, Ramirez, Babbitt, Gamble and Kosmicki all had three hits while Holloway and Haily Greening had two each as the Bulldogs finished with 20.