By Jeremy McDonald
HARRISBURG, Ore.- It’s been a few days since the Scio Lady Loggers saw some live action on the diamond.
And it showed a tidbit on the offensive side of the bat when they looked up at the scoreboard and saw a ‘one’ number next to the ‘visitors’ name as the Lady Eagles of Harrisburg and Scio were in a one-all stalemate entering the fourth inning.
“She did a good job pitching against us,” “I told the girls in the fourth when it was 1-1, this is what we need. This is fun, we get to play in a close game, we haven’t had too many this far this year.
“To play in a close game that’s a lot of fun and see how much heart we have and how hard we can work to see if we can pull this out.”
The lone run by the Loggers as from Brooke Young as Kelsey Pollard helped keep the game close for when their bats woke up as Pollard had three of her four strikeouts entering the fifth inning.
But Pollard knows she couldn’t have been as successful Friday without her defense backing her up behind her.
“They really had my back, wiether I have a good game or a bad game, they always back me up,” said Pollard. “In the seventh inning, when I got a little cold and I went back in, they really backed me up.
“It’s a mental thing, they always cheer me on and I always hear them in the background.”
That seventh inning saw Harrisburg finding a spark with a run and some last inning hits before Pollard and company shut them back down.
To get to that point of the 13-2 final, started in the fifth inning.
Ashton Phillips took second and third when Young came up to bat, and six pitches into her at-bat; Young found a gap to bring Phillips home to give Scio a 2-1 lead as the junior picked up her second of her five RBIs of the game as the bats looked as if they have finally arrived as Kasidee Parazoo’s homerun capped the fifth inning.
“It was really nice to bat going and everything,” said Young. “I felt like we were the team we should’ve been. It helped, everyone was loud and cheering.”
For Pollard, who added onto her team doesn’t give up, the extra cushion allowed her to breathe a little bit walking back out to the circle in the bottom half of the fifth was showcased of that from her end as it didn’t affect how the junior approached to her pitching.
“It’s really nice, when it’s close, it’s a lot of pressure on my shoulders,” said Pollard. “But when we start hitting and we get ahead, I feel better about even if I mess up, it’ll be ok.
“But I still pitch with the same mentality as it would be 3-1 or 1-1 or if we’re winning by 10.”
The bats continued their mojo as they picked up six more runs in the sixth and four more in the seventh in the 13-2 win over Harrisburg Friday night as Young points to how strong this team looks entering PacWest play compare to this time last year.
“I think we’re looking stronger than we did last year, it should be a fun season,” starts Young. “A lot of us put in a lot of work over the winter that wasn’t through the school and we have a better bond as a team which helps on the field and so, we collaborate better than we did last year.”
With a 31 PacWest-game winning streak dating back to their 2014 season ending 14-7 win over Jefferson on May 15, 2014, and two perfect 15-0 league seasons over the last two seasons; it’s easy to be excited to get into league and Mack knows that. They also know it’s easy to overlook their league with Rainier next Friday, but Mack reminds them to take it one game at a time and focus on league.
“We’ve talked a lot about (it),” said Mack. “Our goal is to win the State Title, be in the State Title Game and the only way to get to that goal is to win a league Title and the only way to do that is to win each game in league.
“So we know to take it one game at a time. The last two years we’re 30-0 om league and we haven’t lost a league game and that’s a big thing too, they want to keep that going too, so that’s important to them”
They’ll travel to Salem Academy Tuesday to face the Lady Crusaders for a 5pm first pitch.
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