OTHELLO — Dominique was dominating. Martinez, who is headed to the University of Hawaii next fall, struck out nine of the first 10 batters faced en route to a no-hit shutout in the first game of Saturday's CWAC doubleheader against Quincy.
Mariah Deleon and Cayleen Garza hit solo home runs late in the game to lead the Huskies to the sweep. Othello, which has amassed a record of 82-17 over the past four years, won its final two home games of 2017 by scores of 20-0 and 10-0.
“I've been hitting really good this year. Even if I don't get on, I've had really good at-bats said,” Deleon. “I've been selective. But if it's right there, I'll go after a first pitch. But I don't mind going deep into the pitch count to get what I'm looking for.”
Deleon, who hits third in the lineup, drove an inside fastball over the left field fence and the defending 2A state champions never looked back against the Jacks (4-12, 4-11), who finish up their season at Ephrata on Thursday.
Othello coach Rudy Ochoa moved Garza up to the leadoff position during the first game to get her some more swings. The right-handed power hitter normally hits out of the six slot. Either way, she rode a low and inside pitch over the left-center field fence for the second home run of the game.
“We weren't as confident in the beginning of the year as we are now. We're playing with a lot of confidence and we're ready for the playoffs,” the Huskies first baseman said. “I think playing against teams like Richland helps prepare us for where we want to go. Just because they're 4A doesn't mean they're automatically better than us.”
The defending champions dropped doubleheaders to both CWAC leading Ellensburg and Selah and split with East Valley. East Valley handed Selah its first league loss on Friday, so it's anybody's ballgame going into the 2A District 5-6 playoffs May 16 at Carlon Park in Selah.
“It's been an up-and-down season, but I think we're ready for the playoffs,” Ochoa said.
As for Saturday, they fired up the barbecue, they passed out flowers, and they sent their seniors off in style.
“Growing up with everybody on this team, we are all very competitive and we want to be the best. I think that makes us better as a team because we push each other,” said Nikki Velazquez, who was one of five seniors playing her final home game. “Everybody tries their hardest and Othello softball tradition means something to us.”
Othello (11-6, 11-5 CWAC) heads into the final doubleheader of the season on Thursday at Grandview sitting fourth in the CWAC. It looks like they will face No. 5 Ephrata in the opening round of the postseason.
Richland 11, Othello 9
RICHLAND — Othello almost matched bats with 4A Richland in an 11-9 loss May 3.
The Huskies scored six first-inning runs on the Bombers and led 9-7 after five innings. However, the Bombers struck for four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take their first lead.
“I think we hit the ball very well,” Ochoa said. “Just couple of mental errors and things might have been different. Very happy with the way we played.”
Martinez was 4-for-4 with two doubles and DeLeon was 2-for-2.