By Jeremy McDonald
NEWBERG, Ore.– Strong base-running usually sets you up for success in the game of softball.
It took until the third inning before the NM Magic 06 14U had recorded their first hit, an Ava Shaffer single with one out, but the Magic worked some softball magic in the meantime to hold a 4-3 lead on the Tigard Crush 14U.
Shiloh Thompson, the NM Magic’s lead-off hitter, set the pace early from her first at-bat as Thompson stole three of the Magic’s five bases in their 16-3 victory Friday night at the Darnell Wright Sports Complex.
“It was good because we were working a lot on that in practice yesterday, knowing that we’ll need to start stealing more and get more runs to win more games. To start off really strong like that, it was good,” said Thompson.
The Magic only recorded four hits in the win, Malia Scanlan, Evie West and Ambur Livingston joined their pitcher in Shaffer with hits. Livingston continued her hitting ways with a 3RBI, bases clearing double as the first baseman finished the day with a game-high 4RBI’s for the NM Magic.
It was hard to imagine that coming out of the top half of the first inning the Magic were down 3-0 to the Crush before wheeling off 16 unanswered runs, drawing ten walks offensively to go with their steals and hits. Their three straight three up, three down innings had alleviated any pressure they had going out to hit as they shake off the early tournament cobwebs.
With an 11:30am game in Keizer Saturday morning at Keizer Little League, it’s a matter of carrying it over so they won’t have an slow start to their final pool play game entering bracket play Sunday.
“I feel like we should warm-up really sharply, like keep ourselves energized throughout out warm-ups. Throughout the dugout, walking in and keeping it walking out to the field, keeping the energy the whole time,” said Thompson.
Shaffer struck out four in four innings from the circle.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald