By Jeremy McDonald
SILVERTON, Ore.– The fight, the passion, the emotional toll that a game like this had was undeniable. It was a classic 5/12 match-up that saw Putnam using a Kaitlyn Berry two-run, third inning home run and strong defense to play spoiler to the fifth-seed Foxes bid in Tuesday’s 2-1 Kingsmen’s win over their host.
In actuality, both defense’s played well around Berry’s home run, a response to Silverton’s Hannah Houts sacrifice fly moments earlier in the bottom half of the second inning, in the 5A first round game. Feeding off the aforementioned fight, passion and emotional side of things as Putnam’s Jessica Cracknell and the Foxes, McKenzee Petersen led their defenses to battle on this day.
It was an accumulation of their own season to this one point as both teams threatened around those two strikes. But nothing more came across home plate beyond Houts and Berry’s run-driving hits.
“I think it’s a build-up of the whole entire season. We started off with a bunch of fire and it just carried us through the entire season up until now. I think the passion we had held strong the whole time, the outcome wasn’t great but our hearts were all there,” said Silverton’s lone senior Morgan Stadeli. “This team means everything to me, they’re the heart-and-soul of this team and I’m just super proud of them. I guide them some places, they’re a great group of girls and they’re going to do fantastic next year.”
Staying mentally within themselves was big, especially for the Kingsmen, adds Cracknell, who has seen things slip away in the past. Having all that energy made the game fun, Cracknell said as Putnam will face Northwest Oregon Conference opposition in Wilsonville on Friday in Wilsonville. The Kingsmen had defeated the Wildcats twice this year in league play, winning 4-3 and 3-1 respectively as their league opponents meet up once more.
“It was really big for us. I know sometimes we can snowball, staying strong through it all was really big. It was good to have defense behind me as a pitcher, so it was nice,” Cracknell said. “(Berry’s Home Run) really set us ahead and good backup for me.to keep it going, keep the confidence. Against Wilsonville, it was really fun because we played them twice in league and won, so I hope we can keep the streak going and have the same energy as here and have some fun as we always do in games.”
Cracknell finished with eight strikeouts and held the Foxes to three hits, one each by Brylie Parks, Brazen Henderson, and Petersen. Petersen struck out nine in the circle as Alisha Sharp led the Kingsmen offense with two hits.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald