DeLoe, Willamina Holds Off St. Paul 8-3

By Jeremy McDonald

WILLAMINA, Ore.– Laney DeLoe was doing Laney DeLoe things Wednesday afternoon against St. Paul in the 2A/1A Special District 2 match-up at Willamina High School.

The junior Bulldog started the game with 12-straight strikeouts.  13 included the first out in the fifth inning before the Buckaroos Frankie Lear (reached on error) and Josey Edwards (with a single) snapped her bid for a perfect game and a no-hitter in the frame. 

But thanks to her offense backing her up, and her defense around her during the remainder of the fifth into the last two innings of the game, Willamina were holding onto a 6-1 lead going into the bottom half of the fifth inning.  The Bulldogs scored four in the first inning and two more in the fourth to build that initial six-run lead as their pitcher eventually finished the game with 18 strikeouts on the day, closing out the fifth inning threat with her then 15th-strikeout of the game.  Being efficient was key, and staying the course was another crucial part for the Willamina arm as the Bulldogs are off to their best start to the year since 2014, sitting 13-1 on the year.

“Oh it’s huge, once you get the momentum you just keep on going.  I did ok, I try to refrain and think to myself: not to let it get to me.  Smile it off, make jokes,” Deloe said of her performance on Wednesday.  “You can see in our scores from last year to this year…see Clats, I don’t even think we won last year.  Coming from last season it’s a huge boost.  Everyone has done better, it’s crazy our improvement.  Just working on the little things, we have certain girls who don’t have too much experience.  So it’s just working on the little things.”

After going down 6-0 going into the fifth inning, St. Paul drew Willamina back in and made it a 6-3 game going into the bottom half of the sixth (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

The Buckaroos eventually pulled the game to within three of Willamina, 6-3, going into the bottom half of the sixth inning.  Putting the pressure on the Bulldogs to finish and showing that they had made the adjustments coming into the game and during the game.  Outside of the 4-0 first inning in favor of the hometown Willamina squad, it was a 4-3 ballgame over the course of the final six innings for a St. Paul team who are going into their Clatskaine doubleheader Friday 3-3 in their last six games after starting the year 0-3.

“We’ve seen a lot of improvement, especially with our batting and our defense.  I think we got it close since the first time we played them.  Battling back and coming back from that (first) inning was pretty huge, I felt like it got us on a good run,” Annabelle Davidson said.

Davidson had an unassisted double-play at first in the second inning that started a trend towards the positive for the traveling St. Paul squad.  Ameila Cavazos finished the day with six strikeouts and Edwards led the offense with two hits.  Lily Crowe went 2-for-4 with 2RBI’s for the Bulldogs, Paisley Deloe also drove in 2RBI’s as Willamina heads to Knappa on Monday.

Photos By Jeremy McDonald


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