By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Entering the third inning of Tuesday’s Greater Valley Conference game between McKay and North Salem softball, both squads were knotting up at six a piece with the Scots looking to continue to take advantage of the opportunities that the Vikings were giving to McKay when it was their turn to swing again.
“We talked yesterday during practice about we needed to do every play instead of focusing on the whole game, but focus on one play that you’re apart of and just do it right and we’ll win the game if you stay in it for that one play instead of putting the whole game on your shoulders,” said the Lady Scot’s Riley Thompson.
North Salem shut McKay down in the top half of the fifth before taking a 7-6 lead before the Scots took a 8-7 lead into the bottom of the fifth inning after both teams traded defensive stands in the fourth inning.
“It was really nice, we have a tendency to be like,’this is North’ but I know we’re capable of a lot and it’s just keeping positive,” said the Vikings Celene Santos as they took over offensively down one.
After a error, a single and a sacrifice fly, Katya Rojas tied the ball game up at eight with a RBI single as the Vikings scored three runs to regain the lead at 10-8 entering the sixth inning.
The Scots picked up hits and got on base, but couldn’t string it together as they did to start the game with North Salem picking up five more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to separate the squads 15-8 that became the final after the Lady Viks got the final three outs in the seventh inning outside a Morgan Anderson single and a hit-batter in between the first and second outs of the inning.
Santos, one of six seniors on the North Salem (2-13, 2-6 GVC) team, Tuesday’s game was the last time they get to play versus McKay and it was a good feeling walking away not just with the win but the season sweep over the Scots with the Lady Viks traveling to McMinnville Wednesday afternoon.
“I think it’s just the last time North is playing them for a while that it was really intense. Just nerve racking that we want to keep them, hold them. Keep our confidence up,” Santos said of the game as the senior struck out three batters and was 3-for-4 with two RBIs in the win batting. “Just keep the same confidence and go with it, never give up. As long as we do that, we’ll should give it our all.”
McKay (2-14, 0-9 GVC) has seen improvement from last season to this season and even during this season as they doubled-up their win-total from their last four-years combined as they turn their focus to hosting South Salem Friday at 4:30pm.
Thompson talked about how frustrating it was to see them being able to get on base, but not finishing it off with runs as she sees the stress her teammates put on themselves as they saw their opponent doing the same on the other side of the diamond.
“It was always frustrating, but you just have to stay there with your team and just got to be there and I know that they were all trying, I just think they were just stressing themselves out so much and they put so much on themselves that we just got to work on relaxing more as a team,” Thompson starts as the Scots Senior went 2-for-4 with 2RBIs and had two strikeouts in the game.
“I think every game it’s getting noticeable, we’re getting better and better at it and as long as we keep working on it in practice and growing together as a team, we’ll continue to get better as a team.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald