Tide washes away hopes of upset
What came off the bat of McMinnville pitcher Kaleigh Scanlon was a lazy, high pop fly. So high the entire Glencoe infield gathered around it.
Crimson Tide pitcher Abby Bushong called for it and reached her glove up to get it. Three Grizzlies, loading the bases, started and stopped, waiting and hoping.
The ball hit off the glove of Bushong.
And into the glove of Glencoe first baseman Maria Deninger for the third and final out.
“You won’t see that again,” McMinnville coach Courtney Seifert said. “I’ve never seen that.”
Deninger’s assisted catch was the last out in a 4-3 heartbreaker for the host Grizzlies at the McMinnville softball field in Wednesday night’s Class 6A Pacific Conference game.
“Frustrating,” Seifert said. “We had our chance, we just didn’t get it done.”
Compounding the frustration was the palpable sense of missed opportunity. Glencoe (18-5, 10-1 Pacific), the No. 5 team in OSAA Class 6A softball, remains at the top of the Pacific Conference. McMinnville (10-12, 4-7) has slipped to sixth place in the eight-team conference, two games behind Newberg, Tigard and Forest Grove, all tied for third place.
Jacinda Swiger continued her strong season with a 3-for-4 day at the plate, and Josie Smith went 2-for-4 for the Grizzlies. After Glencoe scored a run in the top of the second inning, Smith scored the first run for the Grizzlies in the bottom half when Tide catcher Kamryn Apling overthrew third base.
The rally persisted as Mac catcher Makayla Khatewoda singled in Marina Jorgenson; another throwing error, by Glencoe starter Tatum Becker, allowed Kristin King to score from third base and Khatewoda to advance to third. The Crimson Tide substituted Bushong in place of Becker and she recorded the inning’s third out.
Bushong effectively shut down the Grizzlies, allowing two base runners over the next four innings. Glencoe scored two runs in the third inning on an RBI single by Eastman and a groundout that McMinnville eventually converted into a double play.
“You don’t expect a team like Glencoe to not come back,” Seifert said. “The girls were ready for that.”
An RBI single by Glencoe’s Jessica Vice in the sixth inning plated the go-ahead run for the Tide. Glencoe looked ready to go again in the seventh inning before Swiger caught a line drive from Courtney Clayton and threw out Macy Besuyen of the Tide at first base to end the inning.
“It was a lucky play,” Swiger said. “I didn’t think she was off the base. I just threw it to first and she happened to be off base.
“That momentum was big for us.”
Swiger came to the plate with one out in the top of the seventh and hit a ball to deep shortstop that allowed her to reach base safely. Khatewoda and Sam Hensley followed her with singles to load the bases.
Bushong induced Sydnee Reeser to fly out, and Scanlon stepped up to the plate for what would be the last at-bat.
McMinnville plays at Forest Grove tonight at 5 p.m. The Grizzlies host Century Tuesday at 5 p.m. for their Senior Night contest.
Tualatin 11, McMinnville 1
TUALATIN – The Timberwolves scored four runs in the third inning and five runs in the sixth inning to defeat the Grizzlies in Monday night’s Class 6A Pacific Conference game.
Jacinda Swiger tripled on McMinnville’s only hit of the night.