By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– It was the seasoned veteran versus the fresh faces coming up through the ranks in the circle Wednesday afternoon at Sprague High School.
All three of the Olympians Sophia Honse and the freshmen duo from Dallas of Kadence Morrison and Katelyn Buchholz didn’t shy away from the strike zone in Sprague’s 6-5 victory, the trio combining for six walks with three belonging to each side as they challenged batters to put it in play.
Honse, being the seasoned veteran, struck out 16 settled in after giving up four runs in the opening two innings of the game that included a Morgan Dippel solo home run in the top of the second. Giving her offense an opportunity to stay in the game against Morrison early in the game in a tight 4-3 ballgame entering the bottom half of the third inning.
“It was a lot mental. You always want to work ahead and be prepared for anything,” Honse said. “I just wanted to lock it down and I did.”
“It helped us realize that we need to work on and that we have our defense working behind us. We can trust them,” adds Buchholz.
Buchholz came into the game an out into the fourth inning for Morrison with both teams trading runs in the frame. Maddie Doig extended the Dragons lead to 5-3 with an RBI Double, Allie Ginsbach scored Carley Schlag on a single in the bottom of the fourth.
Neither team could gain ground in the fifth or sixth innings. Honse gave her offense one last crack at the victory with a three-up, three-down inning in the top half of the inning.
“We’ll definitely make some adjustments in practice. We’re going to talk more because there’s a couple of girls who are loud, but there’s the young girls that aren’t used to it at all and still in their shell so we’re helping them out,” Doig starts. “This is a game that shows how important talking is and talking so you won’t get into your head, you’re out of your head and you’re playing softball like you know how.”
Dallas’ Madelyn Loughary, at her third base position, was the vocal point in the Dragons infield and continued that into the seventh inning. Schlag was for the Olys throughout the game whenever Sprague was on defense from her shortstop position.
Buchholz got a groundout to start the inning. Slowly however Sprague began to position themselves for the victory in the bottom of the seventh. Hayley McCusition singled, Olivia Borzy got on through an error. Summer Domrude scored McCusition and got Borzy to third as Stella Puckett came out to the plate. Staying with it after how their previous two games went against Silverton and McNary.
“Just staying excited about it,” said Puckett. “It was good because after two losses we did come out on top and stay strong. Just keep getting wins and keep staying excited.”
Puckett sent a ball down towards Loughary, driving in Borzy for the game-winning run and handing Sprague their third-win of the season and Dallas their first loss of the season.
Megan Smith, Puckett and Domrude all had two hits each. Morrison pitched six-and-a-third for Dallas, striking out three. Chole Zajac went 3-for-4 in the game for the Dragons who host South Salem Friday. The Olympians travel to play Central Friday.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald