Softball extra: Play of day saves Camas no-hitter

Harli Hubbard threw a no-hitter Wednesday, and after the game she thanked Cailyn Grindy for her big play at third base in the fourth inning.

Grindy made a diving stop on a ball that was smashed by Skyview’s Kayla Moore. And that was just one-third of the play that saved the no-no.

Grindy then had to throw out Moore. So, from her knees, she muscled the ball toward first base. That was the second part of the play.

Katie Schroeder then stretched and dug out the one-hop throw to get Moore out at first base.

“I didn’t have time to think about it,” Grindy said.

She knew enough, though, that she did not have time to get up off the ground. She said if the ball was on target, even if it was short, she knew it would be caught.

“Katie digs everything,” Grindy said.

“At first base, that’s your job, to catch everything that gets thrown to you,” Schroeder said. “I did my job.”

It was not until the fifth inning when Grindy realized Hubbard was throwing a no-hitter.

“I can’t say anything,” she recalled thinking.

Schroeder said she never knew, until after the game.

Schroeder also was part of a big play for the final out of the sixth inning. Skyview’s Emily Garcia hit a hard shot but right at Lena Richards, playing second base. Richards went to the ground like a catcher to block the ball. The ball got behind Richards a bit, but Richards found it in time and threw as fast as she could to first base.

The throw was a bit off, but Schroeder stretched toward the outfield, caught the ball, and made sure her foot was still on the bag. At that point, it would not have been a hit. If she had not caught the ball, it would have been an error. But Richards’ stop and throw, and Schroeder’s catch, brought one less batter up to the plate in the game. And that’s one less opportunity to break up a no-hitter.

Too fast? Too Slow? Too good: Harli Hubbard’s 10th strikeout of the game was one any pitching coach would love.

With one out in the seventh inning, Hubbard’s second strike to the Skyview batter had some zip on it. A swing and a miss. The smack the ball made in the catcher’s glove echoed throughout the facility. I did not have a radar gun. Cannot tell for certain. But it sure seemed like that was the fastest pitch of the game. Hubbard was feeling it.

The next pitch was a changeup. A perfectly placed changeup right after that zip of a fastball on the previous pitch. It’s quite possible Hubbard threw her fastest pitch of the game, then her slowest on the next pitch. Swing and a miss, strike three.

Tough loss: Skyview pitcher Michelle Brincefield had a solid outing. She gave up six hits and struck out nine in the 2-0 loss.


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