By Jeremy McDonald
AURORA, Ore.– Oregon City freshman Kaylee Allen has found her groove again.
In the NM Magic 16U’s 8-0 opener against the NW Mayhem, the Pioneer pitcher struck out five and allowed a hit in the opening game win. Giving Allen the confidence needed when she came back out for the final inning of the Magic’s Saturday doubleheader at North Marion High School
“It felt really good because I’ve been in a slump for a while so now getting into my rhythm, it’s a big confidence booster and knowing that the girls have my back is really helpful,” said Allen.
The bats backed her up in the first game and it carried into the second game where they scored five runs in the first two innings, taking a 5-1 lead on the Redlands. And they would need all of those five runs to see if they could hold-off the tough squad they were going up against to close out Saturday’s pool play.
“It feels really good when your team is really putting the bats on the ball and the gloves in the dirt. It’s a really good feeling that they’re backing you up and you’re pretty confident up on the mound,” Allen said of her team’s performance.
The first win of the day was important, looking for that second one would be a challenge. Allen came in for relief when the Redlands cut the lead to 5-2, challenging the bats to beat her and the NM Magic defense behind her.
It was a battle. An out here, good hit and a run there. It came down to the final few minutes as the Redlands tied it up at 5 with a minute left in the game. Some question was there of start time, but both teams dug-deep. No time to worry about the clock.
Heartbreak would follow for the Magic however. Four close pitches around the zone with the bases loaded spelt doom for the Magic in their doubleheader finale, falling to the Redlands 6-5 to close out Pool Play 1-1.
But Sunday brings a new day, a new challenge and a new opportunity to redeem themselves and put away any hard feelings of how Saturday ended as they look to end the weekend on a high-note.
“I think we just need to know that it’s our game and we can call it. Don’t let what the umpires call affects us, because it’s going to be our reactions, they’ll base their calls on,” said Allen.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald