By Jeremy McDonald
STAYTON, Ore.–It’s been so long since the last time the Stayton Eagles softball cracked into the win-column. Too long perhaps.
Nineteen days to be exact since their last win.
They came close last Wednesday at Philomath, but in defeat they knew the recipe to success against the Warriors this time around.
And it started with the 00’s in Sydney Maurer to set the pace like she did Wednesday on the road.
She did just that, and like they did late in their first game their bats came through the clutch as they built a 6-0 lead entering the fourth inning.
“We came and played harder today, we started sooner and we got on them faster today than we did on Wednesday,” said Maurer, who pitched a complete game, three strikeout game Monday.
But, you knew that Philomath was waiting to blow as they have several times this season and when Carrie Lillis took over for Ashley Matthews in the third inning, it gave the Warriors a golden opportunity to climb back into the game.
They did just that as Liilis shutdown the bats of the Eagles offesnively and their bats slowly woke up for three runs in the fourth and fifth that could’ve been more if not for a stout Stayton defense.
Soon enough, the bats of the Eagles woke back up as Sydnee Neuharth started the fifth inning with a shot to right field resulting in a triple with the Eagles scoring three more runs to put them up 9-3 entering the sixth.
“I think it’s really good because I know that my hits have been a little rough that past couple of days,” said Neuharth. “So that hit just kind of stepped it up to the next level and just got everyone hyped and that much more.”
That hit was Neuharth’s lone hit of the game as the senior went 1-2 on the day with a walk.
And though Philomath scored twice more in the top of the sixth, Stayton found a way to seal the 9-5 victory to pull the Eagles to 1-1 in Oregon West Conference play and 3-5 overall with rival Cascade coming to town Tuesday.
“it was really good, we definitely came out and played our hardest today. We got started sooner today and it was just great,” said Maruer on the win.
For Neuharth, being one of three seniors on the team, Tuesday’s game versus the Lady Cougars will be one of her last times playing against Stayton’s rival.
“Oh I’m very excited,” said Neuharth. “We’re going to get them.”
First pitch is at 4:30pm ath Stayton High School.
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Photos By Jeremy McDonald