By Jeremy McDonald
STAYTON, Ore.– Jessica Rule was faced with some adversity in the Eagles 15-2 win over Newport Monday afternoon.
The Cubs were beginning to time out the junior, plating two runs to break the then 10-0 and were looking to do more damage with runners on base following a Rule walk and an error with one out on the board.
“It was kind of hard to come back when they scored all of those runs, but after that you have to settle in and make sure you focus on strikes and nothing else,” Rule said.
In her second year as the full-time pitcher for Stayton, taking over for 2020-grad Sydney Maruer, she learned from the seniors from last Spring to help her gain the confidence to trust in her defense entering this year.
Rule points to Cedella Ritchie and Jade Beaumont in helping her as senior leaders as Rule returns to anchor the Eagles defense this Spring. Closing out the inning with back-to-back strikeouts, her then fourth-and-fifth of the game.
“Last year, it was building up to this year we had Alexis Jade and Cedella Ritchie here. Our two seniors that left and they really helped me build up,” Rule said. “Jade was my center fielder who really, when I was throwing pitches down the middle back then, and she would rob them over the fence for me.
“Now I got Christine McCants. But they really helped me this year because now I’m ready. I had a really strong defense, and I was ready to go. Now we can jump back in with a whole new defense going.”
The 10-2 lead was short-lived as Stayton eventually pushed their lead to 15-2 going into the fifth inning. Rule finished with seven strikeouts to five hits in the 15-2, five inning win against the Cubs Monday afternoon.
Rule contributed 2RBI’s, matching that of Christine McCants. Abby Archuleta had a team-high 4RBI’s as the Eagles improve to 6-0 with their offense flowing with their defense.
Stayton has three shutouts while their offense has produced 88 runs in six games this season. The Eagles open Oregon West Conference play with a win as they’ll have Sisters, Cascade and a non-league game with North Marion on Saturday, clicking at the right time.
“It’s really nice. The ebb-and-flow with everything,” Rule said of the ebb-and-flow of everything. “(This win) meant a lot because we were a little nervous for that Banks game, but that was rained out. Then we started out with Valley Catholic and that was a pretty good win.
“It just kind of build once you get that fist win and you build off of each other, learn each other’s energy. We’re still learning that because we’re a decently new team and we have a lot of freshmen this year. But we’re all learning, who we are, how to play with each other and weakness and strengths and how to communicate.”
Stayton travels to Sisters Wednesday before hosting Cascade Thursday at 4pm. The Eagles finish the week going to Aurora to play North Marion at 4:30pm.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald