By Jeremy McDonald
GLADSTONE, Ore.– Three rain stoppages had challenged Cascade Thursday afternoon on the road. Perhaps it tried to slow them down by the looks at it, but even then Mother Nature couldn’t get in the way of the Cougars on this day.
Faced with elimination, and their season-ending with the fourth-place game on the other side of it if they won, Cascade left no doubt that they wanted to try to bring home some hardware Saturday with their 23-7 win over the Gladiators. Setting up a Battle for Fourth with Mazama, who advanced after Newport forfeited their game Thursday, as the logistics of the game are still being figured out.
“It was definitely tough. I know it was tough for me in that inning when Gladstone got those five runs because we haven’t played in the rain, it’s been really, really nice,” described Hannah Walliman. “But after that we really bounced back really well.”
The first rain delay occurred during the second inning as Cascade slowly built a 5-0 lead going into the bottom half of the third inning. The hail storm was brief during the first stoppage and it cleared a bit in the skies again. They darkened again and the rain picked up with Gladstone loading up the bases through the downpour, making it hard to grip the ball properly with the Gladiators plating one before they stopped the game once more until the rain subsided a bit.
It did, but Gladstone managed to take advantage of the base-runners in the meantime until the Cougs got out of the jam. Eventually tying the game up at five and had threatened to take the lead and possibly control of the game.
That’s when Cascade took control of the game in a hurry. Scoring six in the top half of the fourth inning, capped by a Walliman two-run home run. Rebuilding the lead up 11-6. Walliman’s home run was the second of the day as Jaimy Bangert hit a home run earlier in the game, also a two-run shot back in the Top of the third inning.
Bats. They weren’t sick in this one Jobu. Cerrano was hitting the curveball and putting it in play on this day, but they’ll definitely need to duplicate something similar for Henley’s league-rival in the Vikings of Mazama Saturday though. Bridging the three playoff games together to, hopefully, bring home that fourth-place trophy to Turner.
“It’ll be so good because when we’re not timid we hit really good. We’re a good hitting team,” said Bangert. “We just need to be ready to hit because when we did hit against Henley, we hit really good and so I think if we hit against Mazama like we did in games like this we’ll be just fine. Our fielding comes together really nicely.”
Of their 23 runs and 18 hits, 12 of those runs and seven of those hits came in the fifth inning to push their run total to 23 going to the bottom of the fifth inning. And though they hung a zero that would end the game after five, unique rules in place had the teams going forth to the scheduled seven innings as the Gladiators did get two more runs off an error and a Macie Latcu single.
Latcu led Gladstone with 2RBI’s in the game. Walliman had a game-high 4RBI’s with five strikeouts, Bangert contributed 3RBI’s in the win for Cascade.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald