By Ben • Ben Schorzman • 

Tough stretch for Grizzlies softball

Seifert talked with her players for 15 minutes Wednesday, standing in front them in shallow left field. She said she wanted to impart on them that they were close. A few more players coming through and doing what they’re supposed to would have done it.

“We’ve talked about this before with them,” Seifert said. “We were so close today. To win we need everyone doing their job, and together it will be enough. Today we just didn’t quite do it.”

The Grizzlies (3-7) led 1-0 after the fourth inning on an RBI single from Allison Ulbricht. The Cougars tied the game in the top of the fifth and scored three more runs in the top of the sixth inning to take the 4-1 lead. McMinnville went down in order in the bottom of the sixth and seventh innings.

Kamrie Hoggard pitched the entire game for the Grizzlies and took the loss. Samantha Hensley was 2-for-3 Wednesday with a double, and Lauren Ulbricht also had two hits in three at bats.

Tuesday, the Grizzlies lost 14-2 to Aloha. It was a rematch of last season’s second round 6A state playoff game that the Warriors won 5-4 to advance to the state quarterfinals. The Grizzlies were a surprise playoff team after upsetting No. 1-seeded Redmond in the first round. Mac twice came back from two-run deficits in the playoff game from Aloha to tie the score before losing late on a game-winning hit.

This time around vs. the Warriors, there would be no comebacks. Aloha scored two runs in the top of the first inning off Hensley, and Hoggard came in to replace her. Hoggard held the Warriors for an inning but surrendered a three-run home run to Katie Buchannan in the top of the third inning.

In the bottom of the third, the Grizzlies scored their two runs of the game. Layne Pendleton drew a walk and advanced to second on a passed ball. Hensley hit her home with a triple to right field, and then Hensley scored on an RBI single from McKenzie Davis.

Mac would manage one hit in the final three innings of the game, and Aloha scored four runs in the top of the fifth inning and five in the top of the sixth to end the game.

Hensley was a bright spot over the two games for the Grizzlies. She was 3-for-3 Tuesday vs. Aloha with a single, double and a triple, a run scored and an RBI. She had two more hits Wednesday with a double.

“Sam is a great hitter,” Seifert said. “Even if she wasn’t pitching we would find room for her in the lineup because she can really hit.”

Now the Grizzlies turn their attention to the conference schedule. Seifert and her players can draw parallels to last season, when Mac also entered Pacific Conference play 3-7.

Over the last month of the season, Mac went 11-9 and won two playoff games. The Grizzlies play at 5 p.m. Monday at Tigard.

“New life,” Seifert said.

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