The Camas softball team maintained its focus.
Even after the Papermakers scored six runs in the first inning Tuesday in their Class 4A Greater St. Helens League game against Skyview, they wanted to continue as if the result remained in doubt.
“You don’t want that going to your head,” Camas pitcher Kennedy Ferguson said. “You want to play hard all the way through. But it definitely makes it less stressful.”
Of course, the way Ferguson has been pitching this season, this one was over early.
Ferguson struck out 13 batters in a two-hitter, and the Papermakers improved to 5-1 in league play with an 8-1 victory.
“That felt great,” lead-off hitter Alyssa Tomasini said of that big first inning. “But you have to think, “It’s not over.’ We still had to go out there, field everything. We had keep up that mentality.”
Ferguson, in fact, returned to the pitching circle in the top of the second and sent a message with three consecutive strikeouts.
Tomasini, who drew a bases-loaded walk in the first inning to drive in a run, added a two-run single in the third inning to make it 8-0.
“We had to go out hard. We knew Skyview was going to be a tough team,” she said.
Record-wise, this was quite the matchup. Camas is now 8-1 overall and Skyview entered the game 5-1 overall. The Storm dropped to 2-2 in league play, though.
That first inning was a combination of Camas hits and Skyview miscues. Tomasini led off the game with a single and a stolen base then came home on a single from Ferguson. The Papermakers would add five more runs in the frame on two hits and three Skyview errors.
That is all Ferguson needed.
“She did a great job,” Skyview coach Kim Anthony said. “She kept our hitters thinking too much.”
The Storm got on the scoreboard on their first hit of the game, a solo home run from Abby Fischer that was ruled to curve inside the foul pole.
Anthony, who as in the coach’s box near third base, had a good view of it and knew it was close. She then saw the umpire rule a home run.
“Thank God. Give us something,” she would say later, with a laugh.
Ferguson also gave credit to Fisher.
“I have to hand it to her,” Ferguson said. “That pitch did exactly what I wanted it to do, but she’s a good hitter. Great job.”
The pitcher rebounded with consecutive strikeouts to end the top of the fourth.
Both Tomasini and Ferguson said the ultimate goal is for Camas to make it to the state tournament. The Papermakers are tied for first place in the loss column in the 4A GSHL, halfway through the schedule, so they know they cannot afford to think long-term just yet.
“Right now, just get through league and see what comes after,” Ferguson said.