OTHELLO — A plunked batter and a base on balls were the only thing that kept it from being back-to-back perfect games for Othello pitchers and first cousins Dominique Martinez and Audisey Sauceda in Saturday’s CWAC sweep of Toppenish.
Martinez struck out 10 and didn’t allow a runner in the first game’s 15-0 shutout. Sauceda walked a batter in the first inning and hit another one in the third, but pitched five scoreless innings, striking out seven en route to the shutout, no-hitter in the 20-0 second game.
“Both pitchers had good command today, but we hit the ball and played defense behind them,” Huskies coach Rudy Ochoa said. “The ball got past Cayleen (Garza) at first and Janissa (Garza) came over from second to back up the play and ended up getting the out at first base on her own to save the perfect game.”
Toppenish (0-10, 0-8 CWAC) is yet to win and Othello has only lost to CWAC-leading Selah. But the Huskies’ (6-2, 6-2 CWAC) Martinez still had to find the range and hit her spots, averaging two strikeouts per inning, to shut down the Wildcats in the opener.
“I had success with my fastball, keeping it on the corners and moving it around,” the Husky senior said. “I like to set them up with the fastball and then mix in a change-up. It’s pretty special when you can throw a game where nobody reaches base. That was my goal coming into the game, not allowing anybody on base.”
Senior Mariah Deleon caught both games, which ended with the 10-run rule in the fifth inning. She called a solid game and mixed it up with fastballs and change-ups. Martinez was spot on with her location in the opener, she said.
“Today I was setting up inside and then mixing it up and going outside,” Deleon said. “Her pace was a little off, but she was hitting her spots. Once they saw her the first time through, we had to start mixing up the pattern to keep them off balance. I thought our defense played well today. The last out of the game was a hard-hit ball to third base on a change=up and we made the play, so that was good.”
It took Sauceda a few pitches to settle in, allowing the first Wildcat runner with a walk in the top of the first. Where the Toppenish starter Raylene Sanchez walked in five runs in the first inning, Sauceda settled in and found the zone and the Husky defense snuffed out any routine balls that came their way.
Othello will host the make-up games with East Valley on Wednesday and host Ellensburg in an important CWAC twin bill on Saturday.