By Jeremy McDonald
MILL CITY, Ore. — Well. That’s one way to win a game.
Santiam softball Head Coach put it best, it was an ugly win. Assistant coach Clint Forste reminded them of the goals that they set in Waldport over Spring Break:
Playoffs and contending for a League Title.
There were ups-and-downs as both the Wolverines and Culver worked trying to find the strike zone. The Bulldogs led 3-0 before a 12-run third inning allowed Santiam to take a brief 12-3 lead.
Seems weird. 12-3 lead has brief, but Culver answered. Eventually the Bulldogs tied the game in the top half of the seventh inning at 15.
It was a good mental test. Mental challenge to start the 2A/1A Special District 2 League season to remind them of their goals for the season with Western Christian on the horizon.
“It’s got to. We had a bonding weekend where the girls went over and set some pretty high goals for themselves and for the league,” Santiam Head Coach Greg Grenbemer said. “(Thursday’s game) will be a big one for us, we’ll see. It could launch us into a good winning streak or set us back a little bit.
“But every league game counts, and I think the league is going to be really, really competitive this year. So hopefully we’ll go down and take care of business.”
The Wolverines found a way. Stepping up to the adversity in the bottom half of the inning. They didn’t let the seven-run seventh inning Culver had get to them.
Grace Lindemann walked, she advanced to third on Maddie Forste’s one out single. Makayla Dodge, who had two home runs in the game, was hit-by-pitch to load the bases with one out.
Boston Flores couldn’t bring in the game-winner as it came down to Makenna Dodge’s last strike on a 3-2, 2-out count to decide if it went to extra’s or end then.
Culver pitched. Outside. Dodge walked as Lindemann came home, winning the game on a bases-loaded walk. Sealing the Wolverines first league win of the season and third overall.
“A ugly win is better than a great loss any day,” laughed Grenbemer. “Both pitchers were having trouble throwing strikes in key times, small strike zone and neither team really adjusted. We took each other and took advantage of mistakes from the other team. Luckily we had enough to win by one.
“We got some work to do. The girls are much better than we played tonight and we now got to go out and show that on Thursday with Western Christian.”
Santiam will be traveling to Western Christian Thursday with first pitch being at 4:30pm.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald