By Jeremy McDonald
KEIZER, Ore.– Wanting to work the ground game into Tuesday’s game with West Salem, the McNary Softball team went to work against the Titans. Challenging the West Salem defense into making the defensive adjustments that they did to start as it took the Celtics until the third inning to make an adjustment or two themselves offensively to get the ball rolling in their 10-0 victory over their Central Valley Conference opposition.
“We were hitting pop flies like no other, like we could not make an adjustment. So we went into practice the last few days, trying to hit it on the ground…we’re trying to use the ground to our advantage and I think it was good. We were getting it into play, but we couldn’t get it through the hole and after the third inning we were making the adjustments because you can’t win if you can’t score,” said McNary’s Heather Ebner on the ground-ball game plan. “I was happy that we had runners on second and first because I was waiting for that pitch to execute to score runs because we needed to.”
Ebner broke the shutout with a three-run home run in the bottom of the third inning. The home run was part of a four-run inning that helped swing momentum in favor of McNary, who continued to play strong defense that created headaches for West Salem. Despite a stronger defensive performance, the Titan bats couldn’t find enough consistency to keep the pressure up on the Celtics during the remainder of the game.
“We didn’t want to happen again like what happened in the first game. Our defense was good, we just didn’t string our bats together. We just tried to stay on top of everything,” said the Titans Mya Ward. “Everyone put in really good effort, which is good and though we didn’t get the result we wanted, there’s always a chance the next time we play them. We just have to work as a team, work together. Our energy was good, but it felt a little lull in the field, so if we put everything we have into the game then we’ll get what we need.”
The two teams meet once more May 12 back in Keizer as West Salem hosts North Salem on Wednesday and McNary hosts Westview Thursday. The Celtics scored three more times in the fourth and four in the fifth to lock up their seventh league win of the season and 14th overall.
Mya Ward and Ava Pilgrim each had two hits for the Titans. Brookelynn Jackson drove in 2RBI’s to go with Ebner’s 3RBI’s. Lacey Vasas and Violet Siegel each had two hits as well for the Celtics in the win.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald