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North Marion 2019 4A Special District 2 League Champs!

| October 26,2019

North Marion 2019 4A Special District 2  League Champs!

How big was Friday night for The North Marion Huskies? Well let’s start with the first outright league Football title, in at least 60 years. 

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2018 Premature Playoff Predictions, Week 4

Jeff Drumm | September 28,2018

2018 Premature Playoff Predictions, Week 4

It's time for another season of Premature Playoff Predictions. Much has changed about Oregon high school football in the past year, but I got my spreadsheets adjusted, and (assuming I didn't make any typos) I'm ready to start guessing at what will happen.   Game predictions are based on the Freeman rankings...

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NM/Woodburn- It's Back!

| September 13,2018

NM/Woodburn- It's Back!

What is Football without a great rival? One of the best ever is back in Northern Marion County! Photo Brent DeLaPaz Woodburn Independent Fall 1986- Pictured Woodburns Kit Cummings, and North Marions Kevin Pearson. Two good friends, who simply wore different uniforms.    The Woodburn/ North Marion rivalry, is one that stretches...

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You are here: Home Softball Menu / Archives Softball Recaps Valley Catholic 4 Regis 0

Softball Menu / Archives

Valley Catholic 4 Regis 0

Regis Coach Doug Highberger expected a tight game, maybe extra innings, and the winner would be the team that got a break. What he didn’t expect was more errors by the Rams than in any other game all season. But with their ace Sami Picken firing a 10 strike out shutout, all the Valley Catholic Valiants needed were the runs that a couple of errors allowed.


(Photos added.)

After 3 scoreless innings, the Valiants capitalized with 2 outs for 4 unearned runs. Tara Baglai opened with a single to center, and advanced to second on a hit to shortstop by Emily Becker that was bobbled, but was scored a hit by the generous Ram scorer. Valerie Barry laid down a bunt that Ram pitcher Shannon Smith had trouble with, and Barry appeared to load the bases on the error, but was ruled out for interference, and Baglai and Becker were sent back to second and first respectively. This technically should have removed the first error of the inning, but the Ram scorer left it on the board.


Smith got help from short stop Elizabeth Olheiser on a grounder by Picken that Olheiser used to cut down Baglai at third for the second out. But then the sky, and ball, fell. With Freshman pinch runner Carlee Hoshowski on for Picken, Freshman Maggie Hastreiter lifted a fly to center field that scored Becker and Hoshowski on the error that should have gotten the Rams out of the inning.


It got worse for the Rams as another Valiant Freshman, Carly Verboort, reached on an error at short, and Hastreiter advanced to third. Still another Freshman, Jill Sturatt drove a double to left center scoring Hastreiter and Verboort. Smith finally struck out leadoff hitter Greta Mannen to get out of the inning. But the damage was done.


It wasn't as though Regis didn't have chances, but they left 6 runners on, 4 in scoring position, without ever getting anyone back to home plate. A key to this was Valley Catholic's ability to control the leadoff hitters, not getting in trouble early. Only 2 inning leadoffs reached base, both on errors, the only mistakes Valley made all day. Indeed, in the critical 4th., 5th., & 6th. innings. Picken allowed a Ram base runner, but in each case, it was with 2 outs, greatly limiting the ways the Rams could capitalize. Only in the 4th. did the Rams have more than 1 base runner, as Picken scattered the 5 Ram hits. Picken also got 2 strikeouts in the 7th., and 3 of the last 4 Ram outs on strikeouts.


Sarah Norman cocks her bat to drive a hit to left field in the 4th. inning


Even when Ram batters made good contact, as Heidi Etzel did in the 5th., lofting a high drive to deep left that Valiant Left Fielder Verboort lost in the sun, or E. Olheiser did in the 6th., with a drive to the left field fence, Picken responded by closing the inning out.


The Rams had a glimmer of hope when Bobbie Crocker reached on an error at second to open the 7th. inning, but Picken wrapped strikeouts around a grounder to second by Bryanna Mooers that almost resulted in a game ending double play, but Kaylee Gescher, running for Crocker, avoided the tag. Only to be stranded at second when Picken struck Etzel out to end the Rams' 26 game winning streak, and their season.


Senior pitcher Smith went out with a 4 strikeout performance. An indication of the pitching of the day was that neither pitcher issued a walk.


Carly Verboort lays down a bunt on Shannon Smith


Valiant Coach Roni Illias was happy with the team effort against a Regis team that VC "Knew is a good team". Illias said "Everyone contributed. We are real proud of out girls today." Illias also noted the damage done by the string of freshmen that are the bottom third of the Valiant order, who, coupled with a fourth freshman runner, did most of the damage in the 4th. "The Freshmen helped out. And the Rams got a little rattled. They are not used to errors."


Illias also gave some of the credit for Picken's control of the normally powerful Ram offense to Catcher Baglai. "Our catcher calls the game; she's very smart." Picken commented that "We got lucky with the shutout. They (the Rams) continually put the ball in play, but our defense made the plays."


Picken's performance included a variety of pitches and speeds. "I felt confident in all my pitches today. They all were working well, which was nice against a good hitting team."


Valley Catholic, 21-5, 11-1, the West Valley League champion moves on to the state championship game Friday at Oregon State, where they will face West Valley League rival Willamina for the third time. The Bulldogs, 24-3, 10-2, who finished second in the West Valley League, but had to settle for the league's third seed to state after a loss to Dayton in the league playoff, beat Rainier 1-0 today to advance to the championship game. Willamina defeated Valley Catholic 2-1 in the first meeting, while the Valiants defeated the Bulldogs 1-0 the second time around. The visitor won both games. Which suggest a very tight game coming up Friday.


Illias is looking forward to the tie-breaker game of the teams' series with the state championship at stake. "We are very excited. We have been looking for this for a long time. Valley Catholic, competing against what is now 4A schools before redistricting, reached the quarterfinals the last 2 years. Willamina reached the 2A/1A semifinals last year before losing to eventual champion Waldport.


As for Regis, who finished the season 27-2, 18-0, Coach Highberger, who saw the last game for 5 graduating seniors, summed things up noting the team "Is a very special group. Even the youngsters never complained about a lack of playing time. Its indicative of the kind of students in the program." Highberger credited Pickens, saying "She is good. I knew we would be in trouble. I expected maybe a 1-0 game. But I thought we would play better on defense. But that's the way it goes."


Valley Catholic          000 400 0 - 4 7 2

Regis                       000 000 0 - 0 5 4*


* Includes an error on a play where the runner was ruled out for interference.


Picker (W) & Baglai. Smith (L) & Minten. 2B - Suratt (VC), Etzel (R), E. Olheiser (R). Umpires - Jagodnik, Palanuk, Thompson.




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