TURNER, Ore.– Stayton was playing their fourth-game in four days against Cascade on the road Thursday afternoon while the Lady Cougars were riding a three-game winning streak entering the contest against their rival.
After the first inning though, it seemed as if it was going to be who’s defense was going to step up big with the Lady Eagles leading 5-2 over Cascade.
“It was kind of nice just kind as a cushion to keep on going throughout the game,” said Jade Beaumont who started off the game with a triple. “Like, ‘ok we got five runs in the first inning we can keep going. If we can do it right now, we can keep it going the entire game’, and that’s what we did.”
But defense became the vocal point over the next three innings as both allowed base-runners but was about it.
“I think that first inning was kind of rough but after that in a few of the innings we had pretty locked down ‘D’,” said Lexi Loukojarvi. “We need to clean it up a little bit, but after that it was pretty good. But I think we need to focus on starting that way so they don’t get a huge lead like they did.”
Loukojarvi also spoke highly about freshman pitcher Mackenzie Dysinger about hitting her spots as the second inning rolled around and making sure her defense was ready to go to make plays for her behind her.
“I feel like, to come back out and get back into the game, we had to bring all of our energy. And in my mindset I just thought, ‘I just need to pitch and help my team out’ and just get a win,” said Dysinger who struck out two in the game in six innings of work.
The younger Dysinger, who was playing varsity with sister Bailey, she did not look like a freshman as she went after the Eagle batters and made her defense work as the Eagles defense backed Sydney Maurer, who’s been splitting time with Emma Heuberger in the circle this week, to keep Cascade off the board too.
“Whenever we get crazy we called timeout and were like, ‘ok we need to take a deep breathe, we need to settle down. We got to make one play at a time’,” said Lydnsey DeSantis on the mindset as both teams hung zeros on the scoreboard entering the Top of the fifth.
DeSantis would break the gridlock in scoring in the Top half of the fifth with a RBI Single that was followed by a Error resulting in a run and a Beaumont RBI Single to turn a three-run game into a six-run game at 8-2 entering the bottom half of the fifth inning.
Stayton would need those runs as in the bottom of the sixth inning because the Lady Cougars loaded up the bases with no outs with Gracie Van Agtmael at third, Shvanah Usner at second and Bailey Schafer at first.
All three would score off a Camyrn Boyles double and a Karsen Lewis single, on Lewis’ single however, Cascade tried to tack on a fourth run in the inning only to have a relay throw from the outfield reach the glove of Sarah VanHyning just in time for the third and final out of the inning.
“We talked about what plays we were going to make and we just decided to not worry about the runs, we’ll just make some outs and we’ll be ok,” said DeSantis as the Eagles picked up the bats for the Top of the Seventh up 8-5 now on the Cougars.
Stayton got an insurance run from Maurer on a RBI Single before Maurer and company shut the door in the bottom of the seventh inning for the 9-5 victory in Turner.
And entering the final week of the season, both team’s are still at or a few spots out of the playoff picture as Top 24 make at least a Play-In game.
For Cascade, who sits 29th in the State, frustrations were there as they saw moments of energy during the game Thursday as they prepare for Newport, Philomath and North Marion to close out the season.
“We need to bring more energy because we had none and that doesn’t help in the game because if you don’t have energy, you don’t have nothing. you make mistakes, you can’t cheer on your teammates, it just brings us down,” said Dysinger.
With Stayton, who sits at 24 and last team in if the playoffs start right now, they’re 4-4 in their last eight league games with two games against Yamhill-Carlton, North Marion and Newport reminding to see if they can punch their postseason tickets.
“We just got to keep hitting and get on base,” said Beaumont who went 3-for-5 in the win. “We need base-runners, we need people keep guiding us and we need Sydney and Emma to keep throwing strikes and make outs and we need to make those routine plays.”
Beumont, VanHyning and Maurer all had three hits apiece in the game for Stayton. Lewis and Boyles had three hits and two RBIs each in the defeat for the Cougars.