By Jeremy McDonald
AMITY, Ore.– If Wednesday’s game between Amity and Scio proves anything, it’s that any given day anything is possible.
Outside of Grant Union/Dayville/Prairie City who holds the title, Scio’s a close second in how much their offense has produced this season. The last three years the Lady Loggers have been raising havoc with their bats on their competition with the number of runs they’ve put up, but came Wednesday, those bats were tamed a bit.
The Lady Warriors Brittnie Brown and her Amity teammates came out on a mission against Scio defensively having faced number 1 Dayton and number 3 Taft in 3A as well as number 3 Toledo (2A) when they faced the number 2 Loggers at home.
Brown was rolling through the first four innings from the circle, striking out five Scio batters in the span while having the unspeakable happening entering the fifth inning:
A No-Hitter. Against one of Oregon’s best hitting teams in 3A. Up 1-0 thanks to a error that allowed Keeley Graham to score in the bottom of the first inning.
“I think we’re a super confident team and we know that we’re good and we just know that everyday that we’re ready to go,” said Brown. “We’re pumped. The practice before, we’re super excited and just making sure that we have a positive energy throughout the whole game no matter what.”
The no-no lasted just an out into the fifth inning when Ashton Phillips broke up the bid with a single as her and McKenzie Reger, who got on base on an error the at-bat prior, were on first and second.
What ensured was a Brooke Young two RBI double that sparked a five-run inning to hand the Lady Loggers a 5-1 lead entering the sixth where Kelsey Pollard allowed her offense to pick up a sixth run in the top side of the frame off a wild pitch that saw Reger score from third.
“We just had to chip away at the pitcher. We were like, ‘ok, we need to adjust here and adjust here,”,” said Scio’s Kasidee Parazoo, who had a RBI double herself in the Top of the fifth that brought Young home to make it 3-1 at the time. “And when got that first hit and when we got on base, it was…the whole dugout just freaking came alive, we were ready to go at that point.
“Then Brooke comes in, hits that ball, we score two and then it get calls back. She does it again, we just knew we were back into the game and we knew we were ready to take over.”
There were nerves about looking up at the scoreboard on this abnormally warm April day in Amity as they saw the daunting task of how to bounce back now with the team they were going up against having a tendency to keep finding hits after that first one.
“When they kept hitting off of us, it was pretty rough. I was nervous that we were going to hang our heads and give up,” said Brown. “Then the next inning we out hit and we just kept nailing it off their pitcher and I was like, ‘Thank God! We needed that’ and when Gracee (Wright) fell I think that kind of got us in a better mood because it was rough when it was 6-1 and I was for sure thought we had it in the bag but we kept our heads up.”127
Wright slipped running to second base and just rolled and crawled into second base safely and then trying to play it off like it was no big deal with the Warriors cutting the lead to 6-4 on that play following Breha Wright’s RBI single on the at-bat before.
Amity held Scio to no runs in the top half of the seventh inning and saw Gabby Rolston and Morgan Croxford reach base on a single and an error respectively with one out on the board with Croxford representing the tying run in a 6-4 ball game with Scio on their toes knowing a Home Run would end the game.
“It was definitely nerve-racking, but we just always tell each other, ‘hey we got your back’. We always make sure we’re calm and collective before Kel pitched the ball,” said Parazoo on the situation at hand. “And I thought we did a pretty good job not letting the little things like errors define how we play as a team.”
Pollard got Callee Roberts to fly-out to Right Field before Brown struck out swinging, hoping for a connection to continue the game as frustrations settled in knowing they could’ve pulled this out. But, it’s also a good point of reference for the Lady Warriors in know that they’re capable of competing with a team like Scio moving forward.
“It was definitely really frustrating, it sucks being the last batter when there’s two outs, but it’s whatever, it’s just another game and we’ll definitely come back,” said Brown who struck out seven in the game Wednesday. “Knowing that we can keep up with a team as good as them, it really boost our confidence because we can keep up, we just got to clean it up a little bit.”
With Scio, who saw Pollard striking out six and both Young and Parazoo bringing home two RBIs each, it was a good eye-opener for them as the two teams go their separate ways.
“It’s nice because we look at our league and its not the best but it’s just nice having teams like Amity, because they’re a great team they’re solid just to push us,” said Parazoo, who went 2-for-4 in the game. “So it gets us ready for Semis and playoffs, but overall they’re a team that will challenge you and you can’t underestimate them.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald