By Jeremy McDonald
GLADSTONE, Ore.– The young North Marion softball team were riding high after their ninth inning win over Astoria Friday that saw one of their five freshman in Jasmine Calkins driving Samantha Baylie home from second base in the 2-1 victory when they came to Gladstone Monday evening.
Under the lights, the Lady Huskies scored two quick runs and were tied with the Lady Gladiators during the bottom half of the second when Gladstone took a 4-2 lead entering the third inning.
“We were really pumped and we wanted to come back and like we did and as aggressive like we did (Friday),” said Lilana Piercey.
North Marion answered with a few base-runners, but the Gladiator defense kept the Huskies to just that entering the bottom half of the inning where Gladstone took off.
The Lady Gladiators challenged the youth of the Lady Huskies into a barrage of plays, and though the youth showed a bit in the North Marion defense, it was a learning experience for the five freshman on the diamond.
Head Coach Jonathan Santos knows that a game like this is a good learning experience as the girls pick up valuable experience on the diamond as the younger girls pick up the valuable hands-on experience early on in the season.
“It’s definitely a big learning experience for these kids, a lot of them are really young so the IQ of softball is on a little bit on the downside,” said Santos as Gladstone scored seven runs in the inning. “I mean on a scale of 1-10, we’re sitting about a low-5. But overall whatever way you look at it, it’s a learning experience for them. We came out that first inning, put two on the scoreboard and we scared them. Again, being a young team and understanding that one error can’t lead to four errors.
“That four errors got to turn into a second out or a third out and we can’t back down from that.”
The Huskies answered back by loading the bases as they picked up two runs by a Calkins RBI single and a pass ball to cut the game to 11-4 as they tried to mount a rally, but the Gladiators bats proved too much as they forced the 10-run rule to end the game in the bottom half of the fifth inning.
“We just wanted to be positive and get out there and get our bats going and start up a rally,” said Piercey as North Marion travels to Banks Tuesday looking to take the lessons from Monday to Tuesday. “Just take being down and just coming back and taking it into the next game fixing our mistakes.”
For the upperclassmen like Baylie, they know the pressure is on them to lead to the team, but she knows the frustrations of only being able to do so much to help her team.
“It’s hard because everyone looks up to us, there’s only four upperclassmen. So we have a lot of pressure on us, but I feel like we need to step up our game a little bit,” said Baylie. “I’m a center fielder and I need to be a leader of the outfield and it’s my job. We need to stay positive, I was definitely not positive in that game.”
But, Tuesday’s brings upon another game and another opportunity to play ball and grow together as a unit as they travel up to Banks to take on a tough Lady Braves program that were in the 4A State Championship Game in 2015 and 2016.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald