By Jeremy McDonald
CORVALLIS, Ore– The young Central team just built from their 11-5 defeat to West Albany Friday against Corvallis.
Peyton Foreman and Kaityln Brian led the charge, accounting for six of the Panthers eight runs in their 9-8 road defeat to the Spartans. Central led at one point 7-3 entering the fourth inning as they came out sharper and stronger in Game 2 of the season.
Brian had broken out of her freshman slump from her first game during her second High School game, going 4-for-4 with 2RBI’s. Foreman duplicated her 3-for-4 and two Home Run day Wednesday with another two Home Run game Friday, also going 4-for-4 with 4RBI’s in the game as the Panthers jumped on Corvallis freshman Holland Jensen.
Taking advantage of the fatigued arm as Jensen had pitched the Silverton and the ten-inning thriller in Dallas this week already.
“It was awesome. That’s what we have to do to win games is you don’t let down and go for the first pitch, you want to hit. If you don’t hit we’re not going to score, if we all hit we’re going to win games,” Foreman said.
“I struggled batting in our West Albany game, struck out three times,” laughed Brian. “But I was able to lunge at a change-up and hit it, but it was really nice to make contact with the ball, put it in play and get on base and move runners. Our team did very well today outside of a few minor fielding errors on my part, but we bounced back well from our West Albany game.”
After a tough first inning that Central built a four-run lead and cut to one, Emily Cole and her defense kept Corvallis to those three first inning runs. Brian drove in a run in the second, Foreman off an error the same inning before driving in a run in the third.
The Panthers collected 13 hits in the game. Cole and Naturelle Perez each had two hits, Gwyneth Couey drove in a run going 1-for-3 in the game, but slowly Jensen settled in with her defense shutting off the offensive tap going by the fourth inning and slowly forced Central to finish the game.
The Spartans tied the game up in the bottom of the fifth inning with a four-run inning. Foreman hit a lead-off homer to hand the Panthers back the lead 8-7. Central got runners on base, but couldn’t add to the lead.
Corvallis played small-ball to start the bottom of the sixth, an error set up the tying run. Pass ball and error eventually handed the Sparts their first lead of the game with an error and single putting two runners in scoring position.
“It was big for us because I felt like in the beginning we were there. We were in this game, we scored four in the first inning and we were ready. We started to have errors and let down on the pedal, we can’t do that,” Foreman said. “We can’t let errors get in our heads and stuff.”
The Panthers committed six errors in total in the game, but had gotten into the seventh just needing a run to force the game to go further. But couldn’t crack the Jensen Code as they did at the start of the game with their home opener Monday against Lebanon coming up next.
“I feel like this game will be a huge confidence booster for us going through the next week and so. We play Lebanon at home on Monday and now we got the ball rolling now I think we’ll be able to start trending to the season and rally some more hits and stuff,” Brian said. “Making fewer errors in the field and we’ll be good.”
Jensen finished with nine strikeouts for Corvallis and Sydney Conklin was 2-for-3 with 2RBI’s in the win. Piper Love and Hannah Jensen each had 2RBI’s for the Spartans.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald