By Jeremy McDonald
STAYTON, Ore.– Stayton’s Madden Pfahler hit her first career High School home run in the most important time of their game with South Umpqua Friday afternoon in the bottom half of the fifth inning of the non-league match-up.
The game itself was pretty tense with the Lancers jumping out to a 3-0 lead within the first half-inning, only to see the Eagles storm ahead with five runs in the first two innings. Defense reigned supreme the next two innings in the then 5-3 game with Stayton ahead before Kaydence Norton tied things up at five with her two-run home run with no outs at the time in the top half of the fifth inning. The Eagles defense settled down after the hit to keep the score knotted at five and South Umpqua nearly did the same before Pfahler returned the favor with a two-run shot of her own with two outs on the board.
A rewarding hit for sure points the sophomore. Knowing that the hit was huge for her personally and huge for her squad in their time of need. Putting the home squad ahead 7-5 going into the sixth inning of play.
“I was so thankful…It was a huge monumental thing for me and for our team because we needed it. It felt really rewarding to help my team out in that way,” Pfahler said. “It was great for us to see that kind of challenge and competition, it was shows how much grit and determination we have as a team and how hard we can battle back against such a good team. I’m just excited by just that game because we’re not even in league play yet and that was a heck of a game.
“So I’m just excited to see how it’ll carry onto the rest of the season.”
Both teams reached the State Semifinals last Spring, South Umpqua in 3A as they fell to the State Champions in Burns and Stayton in 4A to State Runner-Up Marist. The Eagles and Spartans meet up again Monday before Stayton takes on 3A State Runner-Up Yamhill-Carlton Wednesday.
The Lancers cut the lead in half off a Danika Richardson sacrifice fly that brought Tatum Kelley home from third. The fly-out was the second out of the inning and started a stretch of five-straight outs by the Stayton defense to close out the victory. Showing that they can stay mentally and physically in it with their tough challenges ahead next week.
“Just to stay on it, even though the score was close just keep your foot on the gas and keep going. This was a pretty big game for us, especially since they were one of the top teams in 3A, I think we did pretty well but this was definitely a good game for us,” Abby Archuleta said.
Jesscia Rule led the Eagles with three hits and 4RBI’s, Isabella Trevino collected two hits and drove in a run. Norton led South Umpqua with 3RBI’s on two hits and Richardson contributed another two on a hit with the Lancers playing Pleasant Hill Saturday.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald