|5/1/2013 8:14:00 AM|
Outlaw softball team takes control of Sky-Em
|Harley Rowe catches a grounder in a game with Elmira. photo by Jerry Baldock|
By Tom MauldinWith the final round of Sky-Em League games to play, Sisters High School's varsity softball team has a two-game lead over second-place Elmira.
The Outlaws put themselves in a good position for their second softball league title in school history by beating Elmira, 6-3, on April 25 and taking two games from fourth-place Sweet Home, 4-3 and 7-0 on April 23.
Senior Cassidy Edwards pitched all three victories and drove in two seventh-inning runs in the 4-3 win over Sweet Home. Edwards struck out 34 batters in the three victories.
Outlaws Coach Ben Miller was especially pleased with his team's defensive play, noting the Outlaws made only a single error in each game.
SHS was scheduled to play Sweet Home a week earlier, but inclement weather postponed the twin bill to April 23.
In the first game of the double-header, the Outlaws trailed 2-1 going into the seventh inning when Chawndra Craig reached on an error and Shayla Curtis walked with two outs. Edwards tripled to score both to give the Outlaws a 3-2 lead, then scored on another Sweet Home error for a 4-2 Sisters lead.
Sweet Home scored once in the bottom of the seventh, but a diving catch by second-baseman Harley Rowe saved the win, said Miller. He also praised the defensive play of Taylor Nieri and Madison Edwards as key parts of the victory.
Nieri also had a pair of base hits, and Tiffani Milliman doubled.
Things were nearly as dramatic in the second game as the Outlaws scored two in the first, three in the third and one each in the fifth and sixth innings. Meanwhile, Edwards was limiting Sweet Home to three hits.
Miller praised the hitting of Edwards, Milliman, Craig and Curtis and the defense of Nieri, Rowe, and Milliman.
"Milliman had an unassisted double play in this series," said Miller. "We so often take for granted the first-base position because we count on her (Tiffani) to catch everything. Tiffani shows game after game she is a vacuum and supports her infield like a true team player."
Though she allowed two solo home runs, Edwards struck out 13 against Elmira. She also doubled and singled, but senior catcher Lauren Cantwell led the offense with three base hits. Milliman and Craig each had a pair of base hits and drove in a run.
The final round of Sky-Em games began on Monday with the Outlaws wrapping up their three-game series with Elmira. Up next is third-place Junction City on Wednesday and Friday, then the final league games against last-place La Pine on May 7 and May 10.
Sky-Em standings going into the final round of games has the Outlaws on top with a 9-1 record (15-2 overall), followed by Elmira 7-3, Junction City 6-4, Sweet Home 5-5, Cottage Grove 3-7, and La Pine 0-10.
In the most recent Oregon Schools Activities Association rankings, the Outlaws were ranked No. 7 in classification 4A. Defending state champion Banks is No. 1, followed by Gladstone, McLoughlin (Milton-Freewater), Molalla, Yamhill-Carlton, Newport and No. 7 Sisters. Madras is ranked No. 8, followed by Phoenix and No. 10 Elmira.
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