By Jeremy McDonald
MEDFORD, Ore.– The good thing about the North Medford Spring Break Invite is the level of talent that it yields before teams enter league play here in the coming weeks.
And with one Senior on their roster, it was a good experience for South Salem have experienced entering their final two non-league games at Forest Grove and hosting Oregon City on Friday.
They started Tuesday’s twin-bill against Kaelynn Simmons and the top-team in 5A in Dallas, Delaney Keith launched a two-run shot in the top half of the first inning and an Alivia Benavidiez sacrifice hit in the third had helped the Saxons take advantage of the Dragons slow start to the game.
But slowly, Dallas began to show why they’re going to be a threat in 5A again this season. Scoring twice in bottom of the third before taking a 6-3 lead in the bottom half of the fourth inning with Simmons and the Dragon defense started to suffocate the South Salem offense in the 11-3 ballgame Tuesday afternoon.
“It was really tough, especially knowing that we could beat this team. We went up 3-0 the first few innings, it was rough. But I think it was an eye opener of, ‘ok. We need to get our minds right and have a good approach’ and just get our minds right especially if we’re down,” said Keith.
Keith, Bella Fleener and Gracie Fredinburg were the lone Saxons who recorded a hit in the loss.
“Its definitely going to help us when we go back to league games because we are going to be prepared for all the fast pitching and the hitters,” said Fleener. “Yesterday facing Barlow, it prepared us for today but we didn’t come out quite ready.”
South Salem dropped a tough 12-0 game to Grants Pass to wrap up their Medford Trip with Fleener, Keith, Ashley McKenzie, Ali Miller and Bella Wolf all recording hit in the game to go 1-3 in the Invite with their lone win coming with their comeback win over North Medford Monday afternoon 15-12. Alley Isaac struck out two Caveman batters in three innings of work.