By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– It hasn’t been too many opportunities for the McNary softball team to have this kind of adversity.
But when it did present itself in the second game of the Celtics 9-1, 10-0 doubleheader sweep against South Albany, they took full-advantage of it Saturday afternoon.
Said adversity came with the bats. It was weird that, as they entered the fourth inning against the Redhawks, the deep lineup of McNary had produced nine runs over the course of 13 innings considering they’ve only scored under ten runs once all season until Saturday.
But here was the thing. The Celts showed why they are such a complete team thanks to their defense. Turning to Hannah Ebner in the second game after Lacey Vasas’ eight-strikeout complete game in the 10am game, Ebner was pitching a no-hitter for much of the game against South Albany until reinforcements arrived with their offense.
“I’ve always felt like our defense has been pretty sound,” Ebner starts. “The bats were down this game, but I felt like we pulled together when we came onto the field and got the outs that we needed to get and hit.”
Ebner would go on to finish throwing a one-hitter in the contest, striking out four in six innings. The lone Redhawk hit came from McKenzie Hale in the top half of the fifth inning of the leadoff variety.
“I think it’s really fun to think back on things we’re able to accomplish in this game. A one-hitter, a two-hitter, it’s really awesome. We stayed in the game all together,” Ebner said.
Hale did throw a unique wrench into the bats of McNary as the Celtics tried to time out her pitches compared those they saw against Bella Gutierrez in the first game. Going from a power pitcher in the opening game to a slower one in the second game.
But they would strike gold in the bottom of the fifth inning when the old saying of ‘Let’s get a two-out rally going’ came to life with seven unanswered with two outs on the board. Starting the scoring spree with Ali Martinez, who scored Kamryn Miller from third with a double.
“It was a big thing. Honestly for us I know we’re good hitters and when we get down like that, I know our team all together can come back up. For me to be a part of that, it’s amazing,” Martinez said. “I know I got a team I can trust to keep it going even when we’re down.
“Just keep doing what we’re doing, staying positive. Working hard in the field, keeping the hard work and being humble about it. I think we should do fine the rest of the season. All we have to do is stay humble and keep working hard.”
Taylor Ebbs hit her second home run of the day during the rally of the second game, splitting her two home runs between the two games. Heather Ebner hit a lead-off shot in the bottom of the sixth for the Celtics third home run of the day with McNary polishing off their tenth-win of the win.
Martinez scored off a fielder’s choice in the fifth and Kate Ronning drove in the clinching run in the sixth, enforcing the 10-run mercy rule in their ninth-win of the year.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald