By Jeremy McDonald
MILL CITY, Ore.– Santiam Softball had one more tune-up game before their big test Thursday against 3-0 Colton Thursday afternoon at home. Executing on both sides of the ball in their three-inning 18-2 victory over St. Paul in the Wolverines home opener.
After seeing McKenna Dodge recover from a hit-batter, she struck out two of the next three batters to get out of the solo base-runner jam with her offense scoring ten first inning runs. Taking advantage by not chasing after the high, low and outside pitches from Buckaroo freshman pitcher Gracie Koch as Santiam collected only four hits in the game.
“We all work together really well. We’ve played together, but the freshman, they’ve came up and they’re showing everyone up. Everyone works so hard, I’m so super proud of everyone,” the Wolverines Cassidy Olson said, who went 1-for-1 with 2RBI’s in the game. “We’ve all been working really hard and we’ve been uplifting with each other, so that helps with the batting and cheering each other on.”
Bailey Olsen had a bases-loaded, bases clearing triple in the third inning, leading Santiam with a game-high 3RBI’
But nonetheless St. Paul and Koch settled down after the first inning. Frankie Lear and Koch got the Bucks on the board in the second and third respectively. Lear off an RBI single in the second and Koch with a triple in the third to help her case in the circle.
“We definitely played as a team. We came together and played like we practiced,” Koch said of the second and third innings. “Our hitting, we’ve been in the cages hitting lately so that showed up. Baserunning was smart.
“We just got to be confident. All of us got to be confident and know that we’re good athlete’s and we can beat every team we play, we just got to keep it in our head but we can do it.”
Koch was 1-for-2 with an RBI and a strikeout in the game for St. Paul. Payton Saucy and Jordan Caldwell each collected hits for the Buckaroos, who will be traveling to Jefferson Monday in search for their first win of the season.
Dodge struck out six in three innings and on 49 pitches for Santiam. 15 of the Wolverines 18 runs came off through RBI’s.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald