By Jeremy McDonald
ALBANY, Ore.– With all the elements that your average Oregon Spring day brought on Monday, South Salem and West Albany found a way to squeeze their game in.
The wind was blistering, but so was the Saxons Rowan Thompson and her offense.
South Salem’s offense backed up their pitcher, who’s pitching selection was limited due to the gusty winds on this day, with 11 runs on 15 hits. Nine of those runs, along with nine of those hits, came within the first three innings with the Saxons leading 9-0 over West Albany.
Knowing how good the Bulldogs are traditionally in softball, it was important for them to keep metal to the pedal with pressure.
“We’ve really been working on our hitting and our team came together today and racked up some hits. Rack-after-rack it was awesome,” Emma Cordero said. “We just had to pitch our pitcher out. Rowan, she pitched a hellave game, so we just had to come out there and swing the bats like we usually do.”
As mentioned earlier, the wind created headaches. It felt like the two squads were playing on the coast with the steady breeze and strong gust that challenged everyone to stay on top of their game.
For Thompson, it limited her pitching arsenal. But thankfully enough her drop-ball worked with her fast-ball Monday in the wind, leading to ten strikeouts in the five-inning no-hitter performance.
The only blip was a walk and an error that kept the junior from a possible perfect game.
“Adjusting to the wind…we definitely took out some pitches that we’ll normally throw. So, it was more working without those in my arsenal. But working in new pitches was really helpful this game because they were looking up and I was throwing down,” Thompson starts.
“My drop-ball…we really got to show it tonight and just came out and played around with it because we got ahead a lot. (West Albany) wasn’t really touching my fastball, so we would get a head and throw (the drop-ball) and it was really useful.”
Thompson’s defense was ready to go the five outs they did have to go out and make a play. Ensuring they kept pitches low with the elements around them.
“Rowan did great with the wind and everything. She’s a great pitcher, we know when she has a great game then we just have to come out firing and that’s what we did,” Cordero said.
Thompson, along with Bella Fleener and Mackenzie Scott, all collected game-high three hits. Cordero, Fleener and Hannah Tapusoa each had 2RBI’s each in the victory as South Salem host Roseburg Thursday and travels to Lebanon Friday to wrap up non-league play.
West Albany’s Kenzie West struck out two in three innings with the Bulldogs traveling to Roseburg Tuesday and wrapping up non-league play at Sherwood on Friday.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald