Rusty Rae/News-Register##
Hallie Woods slides into third base, as the Canby throw goes awry during play at the USA state championship.
Rusty Rae/News-Register## Hallie Woods slides into third base, as the Canby throw goes awry during play at the USA state championship.
Rusty  Rae/News-Register##
MacKenzie Bekofsky was the winning pitcher against the Canby Rebels.
Rusty Rae/News-Register## MacKenzie Bekofsky was the winning pitcher against the Canby Rebels.
Rusty  Rae/News-Register##
MacKenzie Bekofsky joins in a yell for a teammate during the game against the Canby Rebels.
Rusty Rae/News-Register## MacKenzie Bekofsky joins in a yell for a teammate during the game against the Canby Rebels.
Rusty  Rae/News-Register##
Hallie Woods breaks for home on a ground ball as third base coach Josh Terry looks on.
Rusty Rae/News-Register## Hallie Woods breaks for home on a ground ball as third base coach Josh Terry looks on.
Rusty  Rae/News-Register##
Macie Wilson streaks for first base after driving the ball to left field.
Rusty Rae/News-Register## Macie Wilson streaks for first base after driving the ball to left field.
Rusty  Rae/News-Register##
McMinnville s Hallie Woods  slides  home with an insurance run during the game against the Canby Rebels.
Rusty Rae/News-Register## McMinnville's Hallie Woods slides home with an insurance run during the game against the Canby Rebels.
By Rusty Rae • Sport Editor • 

Ladder climbing, one rung at a time! Grizzly 10U softball team splits at state

They call it climbing the ladder, which means developing softball skills so team members become ready to progress to the next level of competition.
McMinnville’s 10 and Under (10U) girls’ softball team finished out of the money at this weekend’s state tournament. However, assistant coach Josh Terry, filling in for head coach PJ McManus, in Colorado with his daughter at another tournament, said, “The lessons learned this weekend will help these girls take the next step on that ladder.”
The United States Softball Association (USA) state tournament, held at North Clackamas Park, saw McMinnville win its first two contests, 15-7, over the Canby Rebels, and 15-3 over the Oregon Blaze Firebolts Saturday. Saturday evening against the Corvallis Lady Knights, the locals ran into a buzz saw of a team and fell, 16-3. Sunday morning the team lost to the Titans 5-4 in a six-inning contest.
Nevertheless, Terry said, “I think the girls found out they can compete with anyone in the state. They saw teams who they regularly beat, finishing second and third in this tournament, and I believe this will motivate them to finish the season on a high note.”
The tournament featured 13 teams in the 10U B division (teams are rated, A, B, and C, with C being the strongest). This weekend McMinnville will face a group of more 30 teams in the North American Fast Pitch Association (NAFA) state tournament in Newberg. Terry, however, is confident his team will finish one of the favorites in the tournament.
In the contest against the Canby Rebels, a team the Grizzlies have tussles with during the fast pitch season, the locals opened the game playing tentatively, spotting their rivals two runs in the first frame. However, the locals plated nine runs through the next two innings for a 9-2 lead.
McMinnville’s starting pitcher, Mackenzie Bekofsky, ran into trouble in the bottom of the third, as Canby scored five runs resulting from timely hitting. Bekofsky, however, righted the ship, with the help of her defense, and finished the game without allowing another run.
She also received great offensive help, as the Grizzlies added six runs in their half of the fourth inning, giving the locals the final score, 15-7.
McMinnville had little trouble with the Oregon Blaze Firebolts, running to a 14-0 lead through the first three innings. Charlotte Terry dominated the Grizzly opponents, allowing no hits in the three frames she pitched. She was followed by Khiyanah Jaimes in the fourth, when the Firebolts scored three runs, none earned. Due to scheduling issues for the tournament, the game ended at the conclusion of the fourth inning.
Saturday evening, McMinnville faced the Lady Knights of Corvallis, the eventual winners of the tournament. Terry noted the Knights were more of a club team (Class C), meaning they collected talent from the entire Corvallis area, rather than a team comprised primarily of athletes from the local high school.
Terry called the Knights’ pitching staff perhaps the best in the state, with three hurlers who could rush the ball up to the plate at the 50-mph range, which is akin to an 80-mph pitch on the baseball diamond (in terms of reaction time).
But McMinnville didn’t flinch – at least in the first inning – as the locals took a 2-0 lead behind the hitting of Gracie Mackay. However, the Knights struck for eight runs in their half of the first and the locals labored against the stalwart Knight pitching, scoring only one additional run.
McMinnville appeared rattled after the first inning fusillade of runs, committing six errors, three occurring in the first stanza when the Knights laced a triple off of starting pitcher Bekofsky.
“The girls have been resilient all season – they flushed the Corvallis game pretty quickly – but the one run loss against the Titans was really a tough result for them,” Terry said.
In that contest, McMinnville batters struck out 15 times, and still lost by only a single run. McMinnville chances to take the lead included a bases-loaded scenario with one out, which netted only one run in the sixth.
Terry praised Hallie Woods, who he said was on fire in the tournament offensively. He also lauded Maddix (Maddie) Bowdle for her work as catcher. “She showed her arm in the tournament, gunning down a key runner in our last game – I’d put her up against any catcher in the state,” he said.
McMinnville’s squad, with a 23-11 record, heads to the NAFA state tournament at Newberg this weekend, hoping to put last weekend’s lessons to good use. If they do, they might not only take another step up the ladder, but likely bring home a trophy.

Comments

Don Dix

Maddix has a big gun -- and she knows how to use it! Must run in the family!

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