Slugfests and one-run nailbiters – Glencoe is proving it can win them both.
The Crimson Tide softball team scored a 2-1 comeback win against Aloha on Wednesday at Hillsboro Stadium in a Class 6A round of 16 state playoff matchup. Abbi Bushong pitched a sterling relief outing and the Tide scored two runs in the fourth inning, which were enough to move them on to the state quarterfinals for the eighth year in a row.
The No. 11-seeded Warriors ended their season at 20-8. No. 6 Glencoe improved to 22-7 and is scheduled to host either South Medford or Roseburg at 4:30 p.m. on Friday. The Panthers and Indians are playing a second round game in Roseburg at 4:30 Thursday afternoon.
Aloha, the No. 2 team out of the Metro League, was a challenging second round draw for Glencoe. The Warriors feature senior shortstop Michelle Silvis, the league player of the year, as well as four other first team selections, including junior pitcher Courtney Coombs, who was in the circle Wednesday.
The Warriors took the lead in the top of the second inning on a sacrifice fly by Taylor Clark, which scored Shelby Ratliffe. She had reached base with a single off Tide starter Tatum Becker before moving to second on a sacrifice bunt and to third on a wild pitch.
Glencoe coach Jacy Jukkala said her team was not too fazed by going down early. The Tide also trailed twice against Sheldon in the first round before exploding for six runs in the sixth inning for a 12-9 win on Monday.
With this group, they never really think theyre down and out, Jukkala said. I think they always kind of have that fight in them that they can compete.
If Glencoe can get some more performances from its pitching staff like it did from Bushong on Wednesday, that could take some pressure off of the offense, one of the best in 6A this season with 232 runs.
After coming on for Becker, Bushong was lights-out. The sophomore stymied the Aloha offense the rest of the way, fanning nine and yielding no hits in five innings of relief.
Oh my gosh, she was awesome, Jukkala said. She threw really well. She hit her spots. She kept the ball down, did all the little things that we needed her to do. It was pretty awesome for her, pretty exciting.
That effort gave the Tide offense the opportunity to come back, and Glencoe found its answer in the fourth.
Jessica Vice, another one of Glencoes talented youngsters, provided the big play on offense. The Tide set the table for the freshman second baseman on back-to-back hits by Emilee Eastman and Kylie Surratt and a Kamryn Apling bunt.
Then, with one out, Vice knocked the ball back at Coombs to score Eastman. Coombs tried to make a play at home plate but overthrew the ball, and Surratt was able to score what turned out to be the game-winner.
Vice also played a valuable role for the Tide in Mondays game against Sheldon. As the No. 8 hitter, she drew four walks in as many plate appearances, one of which went for an RBI that tied the game at 6-all in the sixth.
Shes hit just under .300 for the year, so shes hit fairly well for a freshman, Jukkala said. Shes doing her job and done good things when weve needed her to.
Apling added two hits for Glencoe.
As for their next opponent, the Tide faced both South Medford and Roseburg in the playoffs last season en route to a championship game appearance. Glencoe dispatched the Panthers 7-0 at home in the first round before knocking off the Indians 5-2 in Roseburg in a semifinal contest.