By Jerod Young • Jerod Young • 

Pirates take control of WVL

With a minor slip against Rainier, 3A’s No.2-ranked team, the Pirates are 8-1 in April, which includes Monday’s 10-0 makeup win from Friday vs. Willamina.

Dayton and the Bulldogs will potentially battle it out for the West Valley League title, and both teams stood strong through the first two innings with their aces on the mound: Jamie Chenea for the Pirates and Kaydi Milton for Willamina. Both went the complete game and had a combined 18 strikeouts.

“Both pitchers did well,” Dayton coach Rob Umbenhower said. “They were both at the top of their games and it was a matter of who would score first would probably win the game.”

Dayton struck first with a two-run third inning. Sydney Van Noy and Rachael Fluke led the Pirates with three hits each. The offensive outburst helped the Pirates with a five-run seventh inning to win the game.

Van Noy helped Dayton not only with her bat but with speed. Two of her three hits were triples, which made for easy runs for the Pirates. That, combined with 15 total Pirate hits and five Bulldog errors, helped Dayton earn its 14th win of the season.

“Seems to be the same story,” Willamina coach Scott Vang said. “We still have problems taking care of the ball. They have a good offense, but the score would not have been so high if we took care of the ball.”

The later the game went, the more Milton labored. She gave up seven earned runs but walked one. When the Bulldogs trail a team early, they struggle to score runs. In four of the Bulldogs’ five losses, Willamina fell behind and failed to score a run the rest of the game.

For Dayton, the future is bright. Fluke, a freshman, hit her second homerun of the season to go along with two singles. Sophomore Cassi Hill had three singles, fellow sophomore Stephanie Jacks had two singles and junior Michaela Sholdis also had two singles.

Chenea continued her dominance allowing one Willamina hit, one walk and 10 strikeouts. The Bulldog hit came from Kari Steere.

“The (younger) girls are playing well,” Umbenhower said. “(Fluke) saw the ball well today, everybody hit well and it was a good effort.”

Dayton played Tuesday and beat Amity 11-0 for its 15th win. The Pirates have outscored their last three opponents 27-0. Willamina played Tuesday at Gervais and beat the Cougars 18-2 to break its three-game losing streak. Dayton plays at 5 p.m. today at Gervais, while the Bulldogs play at 5 p.m. vs. Western Mennonite.

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