By Jeremy McDonald
SCIO, Ore.– Naylie Hart was doing Naylie Hart things in the Scio Round Robin games Thursday morning against Gervais.
The sophomore threw a five inning, one-hit, 14 strikeout performance against the Cougars was just another chapter in the book that is Hart’s career.
“We’ve gotten closer in the past year, we’re a pretty good duo,” catcher Savannah Vetter said. “We’re starting better than how we ended last year.”
Their 13-0 win over Gervais matched their win total from last year of two. Their defense, going into their Gaston game Thursday afternoon at Scio High School permitted 12 runs.
Lions Head Coach Butch Eaton points to the 17 put-outs they had at first base against Santiam Christian on March 16 as one of the positive he’s seen out of his defense four games in.
“I think we’ve had, from what I’ve been looking, we’ve gotten one of the toughest 2A schedules for preseason,” Eaton starts. “Blanchet, Santiam Christian we’re playing the tougher teams and I told our AD, set us up. I knew we have good pitching, and I just wanted my defense and my offense to be ready for…the first push for Jefferson (softball) in 15 years since they’ve made the playoffs. So, we’re up to the challenge.”
“I think it’s going to make us confident. We’re going to build from this,” adds Hart. “I think we’re doing good. We’re getting good hits and making contact. We’re learning how to trust each other and back-up each other and just be confident.”
Lily Alford went 2-for-3 hitting against the Cougs, leading the Jefferson offense with 3RBI’s and had an Home Run.
In the second game, against the Greyhounds, Jefferson jumped out to a 5-1 lead going into the fourth inning on Gaston. But two costly errors and a few timely hits allowed the Greyhounds to claw back into the game, tying it up at five in the top half of the fifth inning Thursday afternoon before eventually taking the lead in the seventh inning, leading 7-5.
The Lions loaded up the bases in the bottom half of the seventh inning with no outs, but couldn’t squeeze out a run until they were down on their final out when Samara Vickery scored three on a RBI single to win the Lions the game 8-7.
Hart struck out eight in seven innings. Alford contributed a team-high two hits and 2RBI’s in the second game victory.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald