By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Blanchet’s record may not be eye-popping, but two of their wins following their 7-4 win over Dayton would make you do a double-take.
They opened league snapping Scio’s monstrous 56-game winning streak and nearly got game one from the Defending 3A State Champs, but that 5-3 loss on April 12 they’ve held entering Tuesday’s PacWest Conference match-up.
Both squads held leads throughout, Dayton led 3-1 after two-and-a-half and the Cavaliers led 4-3 after a three-run third inning before Cate Jacks tied it up in the fifth with an RBI double.
The Pirates Sofia Cicerone, who had two-RBIs on 2-for-4 hitting, knows that it was going to be a challenge getting a clean shot off of Blanchet’s Savannah Barchus. Barchus pitching selection threw the Dayton bats off the board as the Junior complied seven strikeouts in the game.
“I think we got into our heads about Savannah, she’s a really good pitcher I play with her in tournament (softball). I think we got into our heads thinking that she’s a really good pitcher and I wouldn’t be able to hit off of her’ when we need to get in there and be confident. Swing early in the count rather than late in the count,” said Cicerone.
Yes the hit totals suggest more offense than on the scoreboard with runs, Dayton had 11 hits to the Cavs 13, but the game showed the clutch of each team’s defense’s when they’re clicking.
“Last time we just came short of them and it just kind of fueled the fire. We were playing at our home, this was our chance to show what we got so we took advantage of that,” said Barchus.
Entering the bottom of the sixth, knowing that their defense had to go back out to seal a possible win or prepare to win it in the bottom half of the seventh inning, took advantage of their chances and it resulted in three runs.
It was an eye-opener for Blanchet for sure moving into the latter part of the regular season that showed them that they can compete.
“That was the most crucial one, we really played through what we need and put an end on it,” said Ally Jones, who drove in the final run for Blanchet. “I feel like it gives us a confidence booster like, ‘oh we really can beat them’. They’re like third in State and we came in to this like ‘ok we can do it’ but not hardcore feeling it, then we do it and we want to come to the next game and win.”
For Dayton, who saw their eight-game skid end Tuesday, it was also a good reminder that they are human and that they can still improve moving forward.
“It’s going to show us that we’re going to have to work hard every inning and not give up even if we got the lead. I think it’s good that we’re not invincible and that we do make mistakes and it’s good that we’ve lost this game now for ourselves so we can do better,” said Cicerone.
With Scio Friday, Cicerone points out that they can work on the little things like from the dugout, keeping each other up after a mistake and putting in the maximal effort in every inning.
Jones was 2-for-4 for Blanchet, one of six Cavaliers who had at least two hits each. Barchus and Khari Ruiz had three hits apiece for Blanchet. Lacey Smith had three hits and Jacks added another two for the Pirates.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald