By Jeremy McDonald
NEWBERG, Ore.– One bad inning almost did the Salem Aftershock 16U squad in their 6-4 victory over NW Thunder 14U squad Friday morning at the Darnell Sports Complex.
A series of events that featured four runs scored, three off errors, in a manner of a few pitches had the Aftershock wheeling down 4-3 in their lone game of the day. But the squad would eventually settle back following a strikeout from West Salem’s Meghan Boyles.
“We just need to focus on where we’re going more and talk more. Communicate,” said Titans Junior Tianna Perez.
Salem would respond and rise to the occasion that the Thunder presented. Answering in the bottom half of the inning with Putnam’s Alisha Sharp started the inning with a lead-off double. Perrydale’s Jenna Tompkins brought her in, South Salem’s Lilly Mills followed with an RBI double to hand the Aftershock back the lead at 5-4.
Perez drove in an insurance run soon after with Salem turning a one-two-three inning into the top half of the fifth inning to advance to Saturday’s 9:30 game. Three wins on Saturday gets the Aftershock to the 2:30pm NAFA Summer Nationals 16B Championship game at the Darnell Wright Sports Complex.
“We just really brought it back and I’m glad that we did that. I know there were plays that were kind of awful, but we turned it around pretty good. We picked it up ourselves and our teammates,” Mills said. “Tomorrow we just gotta take it one game at a time and focus on what we do best and go with the flow.”
Perez and Sharp each had two hits in the win. Mills drove in a team-high 2RBI’s. Dallas’ Brook Dunkin and Boyles each struck out two.