By Jeremy McDonald
AURORA, Ore.– Pressure was on Yamhill-Carlton freshman Maddy Tuning entering the bottom of the seventh inning against the NM Magic 16U squad under the lights at North Marion High School.
The 18U Tigers Rage squad, consisting mainly of the Tigers High School squad, were hanging onto a 10-9 lead on the Magic with eighth-grader from Silverton Middle School in Greyson Gliviniski coming to the plate to lead things off.
“It’s not been the first time, but I think I handled it very well,” said Tuning of the inning.
Tuning came in for Kati Slater in the third inning with the Tigers leading the Magic 3-0 at that point. Slater, an first-team All-PacWest Conference her freshman year at YC, pitched the first two innings striking out five and had drove in the first run of the game as her squad entered the bottom of the third inning nursing the lead.
The NM Magic’s Kaylee Allen led the relatively young Magic team, a solid amount of them could play at the 16U level for the next three years, in the game. Rundown here, executing a pickle there, keeping the aggressive play style of the Tigers Rage at bay before a Pressley Stadenmaire RBI and a two-run Gliviniski hit tied it at three in the bottom of the third.
It would be one of the two times the middle school catcher, playing like she was a sophomore in High School with her catching IQ, throwing power and hitting ability, had tied the game. She would later tie the game at six in the bottom half of the fifth to bring Stadenmaire home from third.
“I felt like we worked well together as a team and we didn’t let them affect us,” said Gliviniski. “It really boosts your confidence playing a good team like that and keep right at their heels every time.
“It’s just great to be on a team where everybody cares about each other and we fight until the end, no matter the score.”
Gliviniski and Stademaire each collected 3RBI’s each in the game.
The Tigers hopped on any opportunity they did, taking advantage the little hiccups by the NM Magic with their speed and their aggression on the basepaths to help alleviate the pressure of their young pitcher Thursday night. They did the same again in the top half of the sixth inning, eventually building a 10-6 lead before the NM Magic rallied once more.
Scoring three runs in the bottom of the sixth and adding a 9-3 double play to start the seventh inning had both team’s amped up for this final half-inning before entering their weekend slates.
Tuning got Gliviniski to ground-out to start the inning before striking out Ava Shaffer for the second out of the game. Tuning finished off the game with a grounder to her infield, who turned it for the final out of the game to seal the 10-9 victory on the road.
“It felt really good, especially since this is our High School team and me being a freshman,” starts Tuning. “(Moving forward) I think hitting my spots and finding what the umpire likes best.”
For the Magic, they’re back at North Marion this weekend with the breakfast games Saturday. Co-Head Coach Neil Forste called the game a good ‘tune-up’ game considering how tough the competition will be for them on Saturday as they stepped up to that challenge Thursday night.
Now it’s a matter of working on the little things for those two games.
“I don’t think we really need to work on anything…except for swinging on the high-stuff,” laughed Gliviniski. “Other than that, we played well. Just play hard until the end.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald