By Jerod Young • Jerod Young • 

Chenea battles through flu to pitch vs. Pirates

Marcus Larson/News-RegisterDayton softball player Jamie Chenea pitching Friday vs. Perrydale. Dayton won 8-1 to improve to 3-0 this season.
Marcus Larson/News-Register
Dayton softball player Jamie Chenea pitching Friday vs. Perrydale. Dayton won 8-1 to improve to 3-0 this season.

It’s because Chenea and the rest of the Pirates were fighting through multiple challenges.

The first was Dayton’s schedule: Three games in the opening week of the season. The second: The flu.

Pirates’ coach Rob Umbenhower said the bug hit the team as preseason workouts were ending and Dayton’s season opener with Clatskanie was around the corner.

One of the Pirates that’s been affected by the flu recently has been Chenea, Dayton’s senior leader, and it’s caused problems for the Pirates’ starting rotation.

Dayton’s pitching tandem of Chenea and Sierra Ray have gone through a stroke of bad luck stemming from the Pirates’ appearance in the 2012 state playoffs.Dayton lost 10-5 vs. No. 1-ranked Blanchet Catholic in the state semifinals May 29.

Chenea was the pitcher of record, and took the loss for Dayton. She allowed 10 runs on 10 hits in six innings. Ray’s stroke of bad luck came right before the state playoffs.

The Pirates played a pre-playoff game against Yoncalla last May. During the game, Ray broke her ankle sliding into second base, ending her season. Both Chenea and Ray have returned this year and have helped Dayton get off to a 3-0 start. Both players have been struck by the flu this week, but both played through it Friday.

Ray finished 0-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base. It was Chenea that excelled throughout the afternoon.

“We’ve been using them both,” Umbenhower said. “They’re both quality pitchers. Jamie’s a senior, she’s started for four years, and she being a leader. She’s doing her job.”

Chenea finished the game giving up one run, allowing two hits, two walks, while striking out nine.

Even with a near-perfect performance, Chenea said she was not happy with her outing because she’s still dealing with the effects of the flu.

“It wasn’t as good as it should have been,” Chenea said. “I was sick and puking the other day, so I was, am, kind of dehydrated and cramping up. But I guess it was better than I expected.”

Chenea said the dehydration made it difficult for her to get the release off of pitches that she wanted, and said pitches didn’t break the way they were supposed to.

Chenea still had at least on strikeout every inning. Though she suffered from the flu, Chenea didn’t have a tough inning until the sixth inning when she faced five Perrydale batters.

Chenea hit the leadoff hitter, Cheyenne Locke, who promptly stole second and third. She got Dani Juarez to ground out, though it gave Perrydale its one run. She struck out the next Pirate hitter, Brooke Barnes. Gave up a single to Bryce Baucum, and forced Abbe Carmona to fly out to second for the final out.

“Though she was tired and not feeling well, she was still able to get herself out of a jam,” Umbenhower said of Chenea’s sixth inning.

Chenea said she is looking forward to the challenge of being the leader younger players look to for guidance.

“It’s good, it’s nice,” Chenea said. “Everyone kind of looks up to you and wants to get on the same page is kind of nice.”

Umbenhower and fellow teammates named Chenea the team captain prior to the season. Chenea said it’s not only her responsibility to lead the team this season, but to also make sure that Dayton is set in a good position for next year.

“I want to get everyone, the younger ones, ready,” Chenea said. “I want to get our juniors (Michaela Shouldis) ready for next year. I want to be a positive role model as the captain.”

Nine strikeouts in a debut is a good start.

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