Makenna Young didn’t add to her .455 four-year career batting average or 112 RBIs on Wednesday afternoon.
But that didn’t keep the Cal Poly-bound senior and reigning Bee co-Offensive Player of the Year from having a major impact on Hanford West High’s 8-2 victory over Redwood for sole possession of first place in the West Yosemite League softball race.
Take the first inning, when Young drew a walk, promptly stole second so No. 2 hitter Halle Harger didn’t have to sacrifice, then went to third on Harger’s single before scoring on Kristen Heffley’s sacrifice fly.
Or the second inning, when Young helped The Bee’s fourth-ranked Huskies score two runs without even swinging her bat.
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With runners at third and second and two outs, pitcher Crimson Kaiser of No. 9 Redwood delivered two wild pitches in the dirt while being careful not to give Young anything to hit. Runs scored on both.
“She’s a nightmare,” Hanford West coach Jeff Harger said of Young. “She’s not the only one, but one of five or so players around the Valley who can change the game every time she’s in a game.”
Young would walk for the third time and score her second run in a three-run sixth inning that helped Hanford West (20-7, 7-1) put away Redwood (18-8, 6-2). The Huskies beat the Rangers 22-17 March 20 in a nine-inning thriller that featured 36 hits and 11 errors.
Young has helped Hanford West win section Division II titles each of the past two seasons and the D-III crown during her freshman year. It’s part of a run that has seen the Huskies win five titles over the past six years, and receive the promotions that come with it under the section’s competitive equity system, up to D-I this year.
“It’s exciting to play the best teams around here,” Young said. “It makes us have to step up.”
Heffley, who had an RBI triple in the fifth, agreed.
“We’re getting what we’ve earned,” Heffley said. “We earned the right to be up there.”