By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Both Sprague and West Salem softball saw each other trading a run each entering the fifth inning Monday afternoon at Sprague High School.
The Olys saw their run in the 1-1 tie score as Sydney McCuistion advanced to home after her double thanks to two pass balls while the Titans Jenny Ball tied the game up at 1 after a sacrifice fly that brought Nalani Muranaka home from third.
West Salem’s Taylor Redford kept Sprague off the board outside of that one score, allowing her offense to take over with six runs in the top of the fifth and another six in the top of the sixth to open a 13-5 lead on the Lady Olympians as they picked up the momentum and ran with it.
“It was a really big deal because we haven’t been a team lately and for us to come together as a team and use our bats was a really big accomplishments,” said Taylor Holmquist, who hit a three-run home-run in the sixth for the Titans in the sixth inning with West Salem scoring 12 runs over a span of two innings.
“It’s just kind of the little things, just the back-to-back things that we need to fix,” adds Sprague second-baseman. Kiyah Brown who went 3-for-4 in the game as West Salem capitalized on some miscues in the Olys defense to go with some timely hits. “We just need to make sure we get those little plays. Just make sure we do those.”
Sprague didn’t go down without a fight however, as they turned a 7-1 deficit in the bottom of the fifth into a 7-5 manageable deficit entering the sixth inning as they tried to keep their attitudes up as they tried to rally back and take the lead like they did to start the game.
“We just got to keep our attitudes up and stay up and keep going with what we are doing,” starts Brown.
“We got the potential to hang with any of these teams, we just got to live up to it,” adds Kya Lenaburg. “So I think we’re going to use that as fuel and we’re going to come out strong these next games and prove people wrong.”
And though senior Avion Strobel hit a two-run home-run for the Olys in the bottom of the seventh inning, Sprague couldn’t cut into the lead as they did in the fifth inning falling to the Lady Titans 14-7 to fall to 0-2 in Greater Valley Conference-play and 4-6 overall with them traveling to Forest Grove Tuesday in a week where the Olympians are scheduled to play four games in five days.
The win puts West Salem to 2-1 in GVC play and is a nice little bounce back win after losing a tough 15-0 game to West Albany to end the first week of league-play Friday as they host the Lady Vikings of Forest Grove Wednesday with weather permitting as they hope to carry the hot bats over to Wednesday’s game as well.
“I think our bats are going to help us a lot as it could give us a chance to win league. When we hit. When one person hits, everyone hits and it helps a lot with how good we are at hitting when everyone hits,” said Holmquist as the Titans tallied their fourth 10-plus run performance in the last six games.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald