Finishing Strongly

By Jeremy McDonald

jeremymcdonald73@gmail.com

SALEM, Ore.–  It was a successful weekend for the Bat Company 16U squad making the move up to an 18’s tournament to close out their season.

After dropping their first game to the Aloha Breeze 18A Saturday morning, whom they’ll later beat Sunday afternoon to reach the 18A/B State Tournament Final in the consolation bracket semi-finals, BC wheeled off seven-straight wins to reach the State Finals.  It’s where they would face the Strictly Softball 18U squad that featured a few kids a year into college.

“It was good, I felt like we could’ve won our first game, so we really proved ourselves coming back and showed that we can actually play softball,” said Dallas’ Jordan Creswell.  “I felt like we could’ve done better if we didn’t have as many games, but I felt like we did pretty good and battled through this long weekend.”

“It was good coming off of Colorado, we did pretty well there and it was nice to get another tournament in and get some more playing time,” adds Central’s Kaitlyn Brian.

Central’s Kaitlyn Brian playing first during Sunday’s 18A/B State Championship Game at Wallace Marine Park in Salem (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

Creswell and Dragons teammate Kadence Morrison were the battery through the first four innings of the game, the pitcher-catcher duo anchored a solid first inning that had shutout the Strictly Softball squad.  Working on their dynamic over the Summer Season together in preparation for their junior year at Dallas High School.

“I love working with Kadence, especially since I know her so well because I’ve caught for her for so many years,” Creswell said.  

 Fatigue began to show as it was Bat Company’s ninth game in two days as Strictly Softball tallied six runs over the course of the next two innings.  Bat Company did plate one run in the third, but couldn’t build the consistency as they had come up through the consolation bracket to force a decisive ‘If’-game Sunday afternoon.

Brian came in to catch in the fifth, and caught for the remainder of the game as the incoming junior looks to take over the catching spot with the Panthers this upcoming Spring with Peyton Foreman graduating.  This weekend has given Brian an opportunity to get reps in behind the dish in preparation for what is to come.

“It’ll be really good since that’s what I’ve normally play.  It’s nice to get reps in,” Brian said.  “It’s nice getting a lot of catching time this weekend.  Just being able to battle through the heat.”

Bat Company finished the Summer 20-8. Brian drove in 5RBI’s Sunday on five hits, Creswell contributed four hits and Morrison struck out nine in eleven innings. Lindell had three hits with 2RBI’s during the four games Sunday.

Photos By Jeremy McDonald

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