Gervais Snaps Nine-Game Skid

By Jeremy McDonald

SALEM, Ore.–  Both Gervais and Western Christian were looking for their first win of the season Wednesday afternoon at Western Christian.

The two squads have been building for this moment as the Cougars built a 5-1 lead before the Pioneers rallied and closed in Gervais.  For the young Western Christian team that has four upperclassmen, two juniors and two seniors, it was good to get some quality competition Wednesday to build some confidence going into Tuesday’s game with  Sheridan.

“There’s a lot of learning going on and I think even the younger girls are beginning to become leaders to those girls who’ve never played before,” the Pioneers Sarah Halgren said. “This game has really shown us our weaknesses and our strengths and how we can improve.

“It shows us that we can hit that ball, run the bases and that we’re there for each other when we score and it’s going to bring everyone up because this is the highest scoring game we’ve had.  So it’s nice for those girls who’ve never scored before to get that first run and just to have fun.”

Western Christian’s Sarah Halgren (4) makes an attempt of a tag-out at second in Gervais’ 17-11 win on Wednesday. Halgren, along with Anna Williams, are the two seniors on the Pios roster this year (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

For the Cougars, they’ve been right there twice this year.  Falling to Gaston 9-6 in Scio on March 24 and falling to St. Paul 13-12 a few days later as they responded to take a 17-11 lead into the bottom half of the seventh inning.

Excitement was building with each out they collected.  Eventually they shut the door on Western Christian’s late game rally to win their first game since May 4, 2021, snapping a nine-game skid as they hope to duplicate this success to Thursday’s game at Santiam in Gervais.

“It’s honestly a huge relief and a huge shot that we can do this,” smiles Cougars pitcher Sarah Saafeld, who struck out five in seven innings.  “It’s setting the pace for the rest of the season, just the momentum and what we’re capable of.

“It was a great learning experience.  It really taught us timing, teamwork and having that confidence and the wisdom to know what we’re doing.  Just having that confidence and belief in ourselves.  That really helps.”

The first pitch for Cougars-Wolverines will be at 4:30pm on Thursday while first pitch for Western Christian-Spartans will be at 4:30pm as well on Tuesday.

Olivia Boyd drove in 5RBIs to Abby McCargar’s 4RBIs for Gervais. The Pios Halgren and Tarissa Harris each drove in 2RBIs in the game.

Photos By Jeremy McDonald


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