By Jeremy McDonald
GERVAIS, Ore.– For the first three innings both Sheridan’s Emily Rech and Gervais’ Marisol Ayla kept the game to it’s 1-1 tie entering the fourth inning of this cool early-May evening along Highway 99.
The Cougars did have their chances, having a runner in scoring position in the fifth and loading up the bases in the sixth inning, but as the Spartans Madison Brewster took over for Rech going into the fifth, Gervais couldn’t capitalize against Sheridan’s defense.
“I mean it just shows us that we need to put up the outs at the beginning of the game and get to do it at the plate,” said the Cougars Alex Rutledge, who went 2-for-2 on the day. “That’s where we struggled a little bit today. From the beginning (of the season) we weren’t doing that well, but seeing where we were and how we’re now has been a really good opportunity to work with everybody.
“Starting with a young team, I didn’t know how the season was going to turn out. But so far we’ve done a really good job and they’re doing the best they can.”
The Cougars are currently 4-4 on the season following their 8-2 defeat to the Sparts. Sheridan on the other end, were rebounding off their 19-4 defeat to Central Linn, playing in their third-straight game of the week. The Spartans had defeated Regis Tuesday in Sheridan 7-3.
For Ol’ Sparty, Haley Ayala (fourth), Natalie Nielsen (fifth), Kennedy Raham (sixth) set the tone as Sheridan turned the 1-1 game into a 5-2 lead going to the bottom half of the sixth. Challenging the Gervais defense and taking advantage when they are able and of the Cougs’ mistakes along the way.
“It was pretty big,” Brewster said. “We didn’t do so well against Central Linn, but here we came out and showed what we can do. At the beginning we were really struggling, then all of a sudden it just popped and we started hitting good. We just have to get used to the pitcher.”
Rutledge scored Gervais’ second run of the game in the fifth inning off an error that had then made it a then 3-2 game in the bottom of the fifth-inning. But that’ll be the closet the Cougars would get to their opposition as Sheridan added three more runs in the top half of the seventh inning to seal the road victory with the Spartans pulling to 3-3 overall on the year.
Nielsen went 3-for-5 with 3RBI’s. The Cougars Kimberly Bartolome and Sheridan’s Rech each had two hits each. Ayala struck out seven in seven innings for Gervais.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald