By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– It’s been a longtime coming for Payton Burnham when she hit her first home run Saturday evening at Wallace Marine Park for the NW Vandals 16U team. She’s been wanting to hit one and it finally came during the first inning of their game against the NW Nitro 16A team in the way of a grand slam.
“It’s so nice, it felt amazing…especially it being my first home run, it’s pretty great,” smiled and laughed Burnham. “It was definitely pretty good; we came out pretty strong.”
Burnham would come all so near to her second career home run, another grand slam as it came mere inches from clearing the fence during the third inning of the Vandals 12-6 victory over the Nitro to open Pool Play Saturday at the Jag Labor Day Classic.
Burnham finished with 6RBI’s in the victory on 2-for-2 hitting and Kaylee Holland drove in another two runs as the Vandals 16U team play two Sunday morning at 8am and noon to close out pool play.
The Vandals 18 Gold squad had an interesting first game as their younger sisters wrapped up their first game of the holiday weekend, losing an heartbreaking game to the Bandits 18U 6-5 after leading as much as 5-2 leading into the final inning of play.
They answered in their second game, scoring six of their seven runs in the first two innings against the Oregon Blaze 16U en route to a 7-1 victory over the Blaze to split their doubleheader with their pool play finale Sunday at noon.
“That (first one) was tough to lose. It’s always tough to lose, but I think we came back pretty well. We came back stronger at the end,” said Central Catholic’s Ally Hyde, who struck out six in four innings against the Blaze. “We’re going to come back (Sunday) ready to win.”
Hyde was 1-for-2 with an RBI as well against the Blaze. Bend’s Lena Zahniser was 3-for-4 with 3RBI’s in the doubleheader.
The Vandals 18U Dipple squad fell to the Oregon Blaze Gold 18U team 4-0 in their lone game Saturday evening. Taylor Kenworthy and Lainey Wier each collected hits in the defeat and Kiley Harris struck out five in four innings.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald