Softball team secures state playoff berth

Sweet Home 8, Philomath 2

The Huskies defeated Philomath 8-2 on Thursday at home solidifying a third-place finish in the Val-Co and a spot in the state playoffs.

The Warriors brought a runner home in the first inning, while the Huskies scored five in the third to seal the win.

Philomath scored another run in the sixth inning when the Huskies committed two errors. The Huskies committed their third error in the seventh, but they bounced back from their mistakes in this game, and Tasha Saunders finished the game with a diving catch near first base.

Late-game mistakes cost the Huskies three games two weeks ago, and they started to show up again in this game.

“But we were able to move past it,” said Coach Steve Hummer. “In games in the past, one or two mistakes turn into an avalanche.”

At the plate, Emili Riggs went 2-4 with a double. Megan Rubidoux went 2-3 with two RBI. Sarah Wyatt went 1-2 with four stolen bases. Saunders went 2-3.

Key to the game were speed and base running, Hummer said. “Sarah and Ashley (Cochran) getting on base really causes the opponent to struggle.”

For instance, in the sixth inning, Cochran got on base and stole second, Hummer said. Wyatt bunted, and by the time the defense threw the ball to first, Cochran had scored from second base.

“Several girls can do that this year,” Hummer said. “And it really puts the pressure on a team.”

The Huskies had five stolen bases Thursday, part of an aggressive base-running style that has been stopped only two out of 41 attempts to steal a base this season.

Cochran and Wyatt are at the heart of that.

They have been competing to see who can get the most stolen bases, Hummer said. He believes Cochran had the lead, but Wyatt may have taken the lead last week.

Pitching, Bayli Riggs earned the win on three strikeouts, four hits, two walks and one earned run.

She is getting back into it, Hummer said. Though she was a little off her mark, her velocity was good.

“It would be nice to get her on track right before playoffs,” Hummer said.

Moe was the losing pitcher.

The Huskies were scheduled to play at Taft on Tuesday in the final game of league play. They will host Regis on Wednesday and travel to Harrisburg on Monday and Willamina on May 12.

They finish third in the league, 6-5, and will host the third-place team from the Sky-Em, either Elmira, Junction City or Pleasant Hill on May 21.

Newport finished 7-4, and Central finished 11-0.

Philomath 100 001 0 €“ 2 4 6

Sweet Home 005 012 x €“ 8 8 3

Central 6, Sweet Home 4

The Panthers defeated the Huskies 6-4 on May 4 at home.

Central scored four runs in the fourth inning. Two of six Huskies errors contributed to the big inning for Central.

“It cost us a couple of a runs,” Hummer said. “They only inning we didn’t make a mistake on that they scored was the seventh.”

Central went up 5-0 in the fifth inning, while the Huskies scored a pair of runs, followed by one more in each in the last two innings of the game. Central scored one more run in the seventh.

Total, the Huskies gave up two earned runs on the game, Hummer said.

They’re working hard in practice to overcome the problem, and it showed against Philomath, Hummer said. “We’ve got a couple of weeks to eliminate it.”

At bat, Shelbey Gillespie went 1-3 with a home run. Kristen Tolle went 1-2 with two stolen bases. Megan Graville went 1-3.

Saunders went 1-3. Cochran went 1-3 with a stolen base. Hailey Hummer and Emili Riggs had a stolen base each.

Bayli Riggs pitched six innings and received the loss. Graville pitched in relief. Winning pitcher was Emily Kenyon.

Philomath 100 001 0 €“ 2 4 6

Sweet Home 005 012 x €“ 8 8 3