By Jeremy McDonald
SCIO, Ore.– The history between Scio and Rainier has been an interesting one since the 2014-2015 season
With most of these seniors/juniors on this years squad’s were freshman/sophomore that first year, the Columbians have been dominating the series entering Monday’s big game winning the last four dating back to those junior’s first meeting with them on May 18, 2014.
Entering the fifth segment of this story, the Lady Loggers were looking to snap this skid against one of 3A’s best in a battle of some of the best teams at the 3A level.
But, it’ll seemed as if Rainier would run Scio off their own home field after the top half of the first inning by taking a 4-0 lead into the second frame.
That was before Kelsey Pollard and company shook off the nerves of playing the Lady Columbians and slowly kept their bats in check, only allowing a Aspen Norman home run in the fifth as the Loggers bats too were slowly finding a rhythm against Haley Schimmel.
Most of it was getting used to her rhythm again as they had last season, and some of it was thanks to a ten-or-so minute rain delay in the bottom of the fourth that gave Scio some confidence in their bats.
Then, the bottom of the fifth.
Following a Rheanna McDaniels double that brought Aston Phillips home to break the shutout, Makenna Cooper sent a shot to the football stadium in right field bring the Loggers to within two of Rainier as the score remained entering the seventh inning behind some great plays from Brooke Young, Phillips and crew to keep the Columbians off the board.
“We definitely played better against them than we have in the past,” said Cooper on the performance. “We just had little things that cost us. But we’ll work on those and get those things by the end of the season.”
“It shows us a lot, just being able to have this game put on us before playoffs even come,” adds Phillips. “It shows us a lot of where we need to work on and what needs to happen before we see them again.”
But tragedy struck in the Top of the Seventh as Rainier took it to a new level and caught Scio off guard.
Three errors, four hits and two sacrifice bunts later, the Loggers found themselves down 11-3 before Emily Unrau and Olivia Zeiher picked up the last two outs via a pop-out and a fly-out to end the inning.
The looks on the girls faces were of frustration, but they know they can battle back.
And they did.
McDaniels hit a lead-off home run as Kasidee Parazoo was walked following an Young ground-out. That’s when Cooper hit a double to bring Parazoo home to make it 11-5 with one out, Coopers third RBI of the game.
Cooper was brought home two batters later off a Pollard single as Zeiher was walked in the next at-bat.
But the comeback was not meant to be as a strikeout on the next at-bat ended the game with the frustration of that game.
“It was definitely a set-back for us but we definitely showed that we can fight back and we definitely did, just not enough,” said Phillips, who had a team-high three hits in the game.
But, a game like this has it’s benefits moving forward as the Lady Loggers go back to PacWest play Tuesday with Gervais.
“I think playing a team like this is a tremendous benefit win or lose to us because we learn on how to battle physically and mentally throughout the whole game and prove ourselves,” said Cooper. “Each of us knows, I can pretty much guarantee you each person on our team will know what they did wrong and this game and work for it to improve it, get it better.”
Yeah they’re angry after a game like this, but at the end of the day, they still got another day to play ball and that means it’ll be another day to get better and have fun.
“I mean that team is good, we can’t be upset losing to that team, they’ve been State Champs,” starts Phillips. “They’ve been one of the better teams in the State and losing to them is not that bad for us. It’s definitely a learning experience.”
Follow Jeremy McDonald on Twitter @J_McDonald81 or like jmcdonaldmedia on Facebook!
Photos By Jeremy McDonald