Pirates set the standard
WILLAMINA – The rivalry game as litmus test: with the 2013 state runners-up in Dayton coming to town, the Willamina softball team could measure itself up against one of the best Class 3A squads in the state.
“We battled to the last,” Bulldogs coach Scott Vang said. “I thought physically we played good defense.
“We just didn’t play good mentally.”
Sierra Ray threw a complete-game two-hitter and the Pirates had 10 hits off Bulldogs ace Jill Coblentz in a 10-0, five-inning defeat at Glen Larkin Field on Friday.
“It’s always a game for us every year,” Dayton coach Rob Umbenhower said. “Their pitcher, she’s solid. We got 10 hits off her. The bats were all around the lineup.”
Stephanie Jacks went 3-for-3 with an RBI for the Pirates (7-0, 2-0 West Valley League), and Cassi Hill drove in four runs during a 2-for-4 evening.
Rachael Fluke doubled twice for Dayton, and Kiley Hill tripled and in the fourth inning.
Willamina (5-5, 1-1 West Valley) did enough to keep Dayton one step ahead.
Coblentz walked shortstop Sydney Van Noy, the first batter of the game, and Van Noy stole second base. The Pirates’ No. 2 hitter, Cooper Ringnalda, struck out, but the third strike was wild.
Ringnalda ran to first base, and Willamina catcher Madison Leno’s throw was late. Van Noy advanced to third on the wild pitch and turned for home on the throw to first base. She beat Leno’s tag for the first run of the game.
Two batters later, Hill hit a two-run single and the Pirates never slowed down from there.
“It’s softball knowledge,” Vang said. “We’ve got a bunch of talent. We’re right there. We’re softball-stupid. We were just a step behind.”
Ray was commanding in the circle, striking out five batters and walking one in a 61-pitch outing.
“Their coach was telling them to swing at the first pitch,” Ray said. “I threw a lot of balls to get them to swing at junk.”
Cheyanne Fasana and Kelsie Greenhill both singled for the Bulldogs. Greenhill laced a ball into center field in the third inning, but she turned toward second base and Pirates center fielder Michaela Shouldis threw her out as she tried to return to first base.\
Dayton plays at Amity tonight at 5 p.m. and hosts Yamhill-Carlton Thursday night.
Willamina hosted Tillamook on Monday. The Bulldogs play at Gervais tonight at 5 p.m. and at Rainier Friday night at 4:30 p.m.