By Jeremy McDonald
DALLAS, Ore.– The opening game of their doubleheader with Dallas was a great bounce back game for North Salem following their game versus Corvallis Tuesday afternoon.
Jazzy Young pitched five innings of one run ball in the opening 2-1 defeat to the Dragons Wednesday afternoon with the difference in the game coming way of a Fielder’s Choice RBI hit by Emma Classen in the bottom of the fourth that was the deciding factor.
“The first game I thought we came out really good. We had our heads in the game and we battled hard the whole time, we just feel a little short with our batting,” said Vikings catcher Kaitlyn Horn.
North Salem’s bats only produced three hits from Cierra Hernandez, Bryana Hernandez and Young while their defense limited Dallas’ nine hits to those that Fielder’s Choice and a Zoe Whitlow solo Homerun.
Whitlow with two hits and Madelyn Longhary with three represented the bulk of the Dragon’s offense in the first game, but it was the second game in which Dallas’ offense timed down the North Salem pitchers and found the open gaps from the start of the second game.
Coming off of Tuesday’s 11-1 win over Lebanon, the lull in energy in the opening game was a tad uncharacteristic of what they were expecting. But stemming from their team talk in between the two-games sparked the Dragons to finish the doubleheader off strong entering Friday’s game with rival Central.
“Yesterday’s game was a good game for us, we came out with a lot of energy. The first game (Wednesday) we came out sluggish like ‘it’s a doubleheader or whatever’. But in our team talk, we talked about keeping our energy up so we came into the second game knowing we had to keep our energy up,” said Whitlow.
“It helped us in the first inning that we kept hitting and going and going from there.”
Dallas scored six runs in the first four innings, but would eventually pull away for good in the sixth inning when they scored eight of their 17 runs in the 17-0 win in six innings.
“The second game, it was tough because we didn’t catch on to their pitchers and that’s what beat us today was our hitting. That was the hardest part, then after our hitting wasn’t working our heads started getting down,” described Horn of the second game.
If anything, Wednesday’s game shows that the Vikings can compete with the teams in their league with their performance in the opener moving forward to their game versus Crescent Valley at Wallace on Tuesday.
“Today was a wake-up call for us now that we’ve seen every team in our league that we can come out and battle with every team and hopefully get a couple of wins,” said Horn.
With a rhythm now, the Dragons hope they could summon their bats once more against the Panthers on Friday. Central’s Emily Cole and her defense got the Dallas offense for 14 strikeouts in their first meeting as the Panthers wheeled off seven-straight wins until Tuesday’s loss to West Albany 8-3.
“We just have to work harder in practice tomorrow and know that we’re capable of…obviously we’re capable of showing them and giving them a game that’s worth fighting for,” said Whitlow. “We just have to keep the energy that we have this game and build from that and add to it for Friday’s game. Play our game, just relax and calm and it’ll be good from there.”
Whitlow wemt 5-for-8 with four RBIs in the doubleheader. Loughary went 6-for-6 with three RBIs and three strikeouts. Kaelynn Simmons struck out 14 in nine innings pitching.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald