Huskies 4-0 with softball wins over Willamette, JC

Sweet Home 5, Willamette 1

The young Huskies softball team extended its season record to 4-0 with a 5-1 victory over 5A Willamette Friday afternoon at home.

“We played much better defensively and offensively,” Coach Steve Hummer said, and “we did hit the ball better.”

The Huskies hit the ball eight times, led by Becky Spencer and Bayli Riggs, who each went 2-3, Riggs with an RBI and Spencer with two RBIs.

“Whenever you put the ball in play, you put pressure on the other team,” Hummer said.

Also hitting in the game were Paige Niemi, going 2-3 with a run; Seiber, 1-3, with an RBI; and Mink, 1-3.

Tasha Saunders, 3-0, pitched well, Hummer said. Saunders threw a changeup that kept Wolverine batters off balance and a screwball that got right into the batters’ hands. She had six strikeouts, giving up only two hits and one walk in seven innings.

The defense behind her had only a couple of lapses, committing only two errors on the game, Hummer said, but the Wolverines were only able to get five runners on base, two on errors, two on hits and one on a walk.

“It was nice to have Lacey Mink back out,” Hummer said, and senior Jessalyn Seiber was back out for her second game of the year. But the Huskies lost Ashley Cochran last week to a broken hand. She’ll be out for four to six weeks.

The Huskies scored their first run in the second inning. Willamette tied the game in the fourth inning.

With bases loaded and two outs in the fifth inning, Seiber knocked Hailee Huenergardt in to go ahead. Riggs followed up with a hit to score two more runners. A third runner reached home on an error. When the Wolverines defense recovered, they trapped her between second and third to end the inning, but the Huskies’ win was secured.

“We struggled with base running,” Hummer said, but with all the rain, it’s hard to get on the field and practice base running. “It kind of bites you in the rear a little bit.”

“We made several mistakes, but we’re 4-0,” Hummer said.

Willamette 000 100 0 1 2 3

Sweet Home 010 040 x 5 8 2

Sweet Home 6, Junction City 5

The Huskies held off Junction City for a close 6-5 win at home on Wednesday despite a number of missteps on defense.

Junction City scored two runs to start the game off. The Huskies scored five in the second inning and then another in the fourth. Junction City added a run in the fourth and two in the fifth but couldn’t catch up to the Huskies.

“We gave them five unearned runs,” Hummer said. “We had five errors.”

The team didn’t play good defense or hit the ball well, Hummer said. “I have high expectations.”

Still, “somehow these girls keep finding ways to win games,” Hummer said. “Sometimes it’s ugly.”

The coach said he has to remind himself that the Huskies are a young team.

The team has six freshmen, two sophomores, three juniors and two seniors, he said. “We’re very young, and we’re finding ways to win games and that’s exciting. It’s hard to teach people how to win, and these girls know that already.

“Sometimes I look at all the things we need to do better, but I need to remember.”

In her first game of the year, Seiber hit 2-4 with three RBIs. Niemi went 1-2.

Riggs started at pitcher but only went three innings, giving up one hit. She struck out one batter and walked two; and Junction City scored two unearned runs.

Saunders pitched in relief for four innings, earning the win. She struck out three batters and walked two, while Junction City had three unearned runs.

Junction City 200 120 0 5 5 4

Sweet Home 050 010 x 6 3 5