By Jeremy McDonald
WOODBURN, Ore.– The last time McKay softball found themselves in the win-column was May 5, 2014 with a 9-3 victory over North Salem for their lone win of the 2013-2014 season.
What started the next day against Sprague started a stretch that no one wish or hoped for A losing streak. Not just a short-term two-or-three gamer, but a long one.
Yes the Scots softball program hasn’t been off-the-page in terms of prestigious powerhouses in the softball sporting world; but as the losses began to pile, some closer than others, the losing streak reached 69 straight games entering the 2018 season when they made the trip up to Woodburn to face a Bulldog program in a similar situation down at the 5A level.
Woodburn, playing on a independent schedule this season for the third-year in a row, entered Friday’s game on a 15-game losing streak themselves and were looking to break their streak as well after winning three games in 2016.
The Bulldogs held McKay to one run entering the second inning, but the bats of the Scots got them on base as they took advantage of the Bulldogs errors that ended up in runs on the board starting with Alaina Reedy’s sacrifice RBI in the top of the third that saw them turn a 1-0 lead into a 7-0 lead following another Reedy RBI hit in the top of the fifth inning.
“The bats, they were just cracking every time,” said Alyssa Flores, who had a RBI single in the sixth inning that made the game 9-0 over Woodburn. “I feel like we’ve done a lot of hitting practice lately and I feel like when the energy is up, then the bats are rowdy all the time.”
Thalya Contreras made it 10-0 during her at-bat with the Lady Scot defense in limiting a Woodburn offense that got four runs against Molalla back on Monday thanks to the duo of Riley Thompson at pitcher and North Salem-transfer Kaylynn Weston behind the dish.
“It’s so great, she’s so awesome. She has such a great attitude, she constantly cheers us on,” said Thompson of the sophomore Weston. “We also have Morgan (Anderson) who came here from Turner and she’s playing with us and she’s so awesome.”
Anderson goes to 1A’s Crosshill Christian but is playing with the Scots as the Eagles do not have a softball team for her to play on as Anderson’s playing at first-base.
For Thompson, who threw seven strikeouts in the game, pitching with the lead made her comfortable as she continued to locate her pitches from the circle in their season-opener.
“It was nice because I knew if I threw strikes and if they hit it then I know my team would make the out and I count on my catcher to be there,” said Thompson. “It was a lot easier on me as a pitcher.”
“The defense to start the game, we had our head on straight,” adds Flores. “We were making those outs. I feel like our players did really well today.”
Entering the sixth inning, needing a run to keep the game going, Woodburn did just that as they turned a walk into a run off an error with the runner at third. But the Scots got that run back and another one entering the bottom of the seventh up 12-1.
The Bulldogs weren’t going to hand McKay their first win in 70 games without a fight however as they challenged the Scots to play with the lead and made them work for the win as Woodburn tacked on four runs in the bottom of the seventh before the Scots put the nail in the coffin for their first win since that faithful May day in 2014.
Those last six outs defensively proved to be a golden learning opportunity for McKay moving forward.
“We just got to be there supporting each other and have each other’s back because no one can do it on their own,” said Thompson.
Consider this win, most of these girls were in Middle School when the Scots last won a game on the diamond.
It almost second-nature until Friday to expect to hear McKay softball to lose, but this win could possibly show them that they can get to the other-side and pull off the victory by games end as reality sank in that they finally realize that got a win under their belts as Stradley reminded them that it’s been nearly four-years since the programs last win.
“So good, it feels so good,” smiled Flores as their was a sigh of relief knowing they finally got a win.
“Everyone’s so pumped up right now, everyone’s so excited,” said Thompson out of excitement. “It’s going to be nice going into school now, kids are going to come up to us and be like, ‘so you guys lost yesterday right?’ So now, we can be like, ‘no we didn’t actually. We got a freaking ‘W’.”
And they got an opportunity to make it two-in-a-row when they travel to Willamette to face the Lady Wolverines Saturday at noon before having their home opener Monday versus Century.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald