Embracing The Grind

By Jeremy McDonald

jeremymcdonald73@gmail.com

MEDFORD, Ore.–  This summer has felt almost like an American Legion Baseball season for incoming West Salem Junior Brooklyn Corliss and the Oregon Blaze 16A with how often they have played.  Corliss joked that she’s been home maybe three nights this month alone as the squad went to Bend, Beaverton, the Orlando, Florida-area and now Medford for the travel softball season.

“It’s been good, I think I’ve been home three nights in July I hardly know,” Corliss said with a smile Tuesday.  “But it’s been back-to-back-to-back, but it’s been really fun.  I’m glad because we weren’t able to do this last year due to Covid that they were able to smash it all together and we’ve been able to stay together, it’s been great.”

The Blaze went 6-0 this past weekend in Bend before using Monday as a travel day to get to the 18A Western Nationals Tournament, the 16A squads being absorbed up into the 18’s bracket.  Creating a deep field as the 16A team dropped their first game Tuesday 3-1 before walking it off 4-3 against the NW Vandals 18A team. 

Corliss was 2-for-3 with an RBI in the final game that saw Kaylie Christopher hit the game-winning hit.  Corliss was 2-for-5 with the RBI on the day as the Oregon Blaze team wrapped up pool play Wednesday. 

Corliss and the Oregon Blaze 16A squad split their first two games in Medford Tuesday to start the 18A Western Nationals after going 6-0 in Bend on Saturday and Sunday (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

For the Titan outfielder, who saw her first Varsity experience this past Spring after her freshman year being canceled due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, taking and learning from this past season to work on over the Summer in preparation for her Junior season.

Learning how to be a leader in the outfield along with Mia Zachary, who floated between outfield and infield this past season, just getting to be out there and lead some things and going through the motions with the six Seniors they had helped move forward.

“Just being out here, talking more and cheering always.  I think that’s what I’ve gotten a lot better at,” Corliss said of this summer.  “No matter how good I’m doing, being a true leader for the rest of my teammates and everything like that.

“We lost our six Seniors and I think I’ll definitely step up more as a leader and being a Junior I’ll probably be one of the oldest in the outfield coming in.  We should have Braeli Martin coming in and she’s an awesome pitcher, hopefully we’ll get to see more of that.  Getting a new infield and rebuilding our program after losing those six girls, I think it’ll be challenging but I think if we’re working together, it’ll be awesome.”

The Blaze wrap up pool play Wednesday at 11am when they play the Panther Fastpitch squad sitting 1-1 in the Pool A Standings.

Photos By Jeremy McDonald

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