Though Molalla's softball team hasn't picked up a win yet, they're showing major improvement.

Molalla’s softball team travelled to The Dalles last week, where they played in the The Dalles Tournament. They lost four games, against 5A and 6A teams. Though the Indians are yet to win a game this season, Coach Carol Grauer is happy with how the girls are progressing, as the team is very young.

“We took each game and learned as much as we could from the other teams,” Grauer said. “And we did improve each and every game. What started as tough got better, and that is all I can ask.”

The Indians first lost 18-0 to Dalles Wahtonka High School. “We had zero runs on zero hits with eight errors,” Grauer said. “We started Emily Evanson (a freshman) on the mound with Kenzi Kluken catching. Emily gave up 12 hits with only four walks and two strike outs. They had a senior pitcher who shut us down.”

Next, Molalla lost 15-0 to Gresham High School. “They had a freshman pitcher who threw 60 plus, and my team could not catch up. We had zero runs on one hit and seven errors. Kaitlyn Burke (another freshman) started on the mound with Kenzi catching. She had five walks and one strike out. The only hit came from third baseman Kaitlyn Carrier.”

The following day, Tuesday, March 25, the Indians began to show improvement, little by little. They lost 20-5 to Mountain View High School. “We stayed with them for five innings with a score of 2-3 when the wheels fell off, and we gave up seven runs in the fifth and 10 in the sixth, which included six errors committed by us,” Grauer said. “Our line score was five runs on three hits and seven errors. As noted we only had one error until the fifth. Emily Evanson started again on the mound, giving up 16 hits, yet had five strikeouts and four walks. Kaylee Larson was two for two with two runs, and Kaitlyn Carrier had one hit along with the other run. The young team is coming along.”

In their last game of the week, the Indians lost 13-8 to Century High School, a major improvement from their opening game in the tournament. “[It was] the best of all the games we have played,” Grauer said. “Finally, our bats came on and the confidence level went up … We had eight runs on 12 hits with nine errors. We out hit them 12 to 10, yet we had nine errors that cost us. Hitting for us was Kaitlyn Carrier, four for five with 2 runs; Kaylee Larson, three for four with two doubles; Rylee Elliott, one for four with two runs; Kenzi Kluken, two for four with a triple; along with singles by Lexi Shirley and Brittni Callahan. Kaitlyn Burke started with Kenzi catching. Kaitlyn did an awesome job keeping us in the game. She had four walks and four strikeouts.”

Next up, the Indians go on the road to play Yamhill-Carlton on Wednesday, April 2.

“Yes [this season] is going to be a learning season with all the youth, yet with freshman pitchers we have a future,” Grauer said. “I am pleased at how they are learning and also keeping their heads up throughout the entire game. As they say, where do we have to go from here but up! I truly believe in that statement, and everyday we hope to improve.”

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