By Jeremy McDonald
NEWBERG, Ore.– You saw the game-experience with the NM Magic 06 14U as they looked to rebound after their close loss to the Seattle FP Club 4-2 Sunday morning in the Newberg Father’s Day Tournament.
Playing against the Newberg Ambush 14U, playing in their first tournament of the year this weekend, the Magic jumped out in front with a four-run first inning as their offense looked to return to form from Friday night with it’s production. But, a change of pace occurred in the third inning when the Ambush made a change in the circle.
The Ambush looked to power-thrower Madison White to slow down the bats that the Magic had introduced to them in the early going of the game.
It worked. White let her defense do the work while they slowly timed up Ambur Livingston’s pitching by the fourth inning.
“It felt really good because once we start coming together and play as a team, we play better. Everything started to mix together and mixes well. ” said Ambush first-baseman and Amity High School incoming sophomore Kylie Kendall of rallying. “We need to focus on talking on the field and fielding in general. Calling for the ball.”
The incoming eighth-grader in Livingston was coming off a pitching gem Saturday where she had pitched seven innings and held the Oregon Thunder 14U to one hit entering the fifth inning, and had a strong start to her second start of the tournament entering the fourth inning.
Call it fatigue from adding more innings to their slate, having played into the sixth inning on the heels of the seven-inning mentally taxing game entering the tournament finale, but the energy didn’t match the intensity they needed as the Ambush lived up their name in the fourth. Scoring five innings to swing momentum into their favor.
Kendall and Madison Richards pushed the then 5-4 lead to 7-4 before the NM Magic got back on track in the bottom of the fifth. It was a good learning experience for the Magic entering this week’s worth of practice entering their next tournament.
“Keeping our confidence up and putting in 100-percent effort. That will get us in better places than today,” said Livingston, who struck out three in the game in three innings. “Overall I think…it was very difficult because a lot of us were down on ourselves, but I think once we get to that point, just getting farther. We worked hard, but not enough.”
Livingston had a one out double and eventually was driven home by Grace Larsen to pull the NM Magic to 7-5 on a ground-out. Ava Shaffer and Peyton Saucy each singled with two outs, but the squad couldn’t bring them around to force the International Tiebreaker in the third-fourth place game in the 14B/12A Blue Bracket, falling 7-5 to the Newberg Ambush.
Saucy went 2-for-3 with an RBI for the Magic 06. White struck out four in three innings of relief. Cici Smith, Kaitlyn Smalley and Sadie Hibbard each had two hits each.