Bucks stop three-game slide with win vs. Perrydale
It took a game for the St. Paul softball team to get its offense in rhythm against the Perrydale Pirates on Monday, but once their bats started ringing, the Bucks couldn't slow down.
St. Paul split a pair of games in a home doubleheader against the Pirates, falling 4-3 on the last play of the opening game before returning the favor with a 17-4 win in the second contest to pick up their third league victory of the season.
"The first game was pretty well played, we just couldn't put the bat on the ball," SPHS coach Carl Kordenat said. "I thought the girls played well. We just didn't get the offense going quick enough."
The two teams were knotted at 3-3 entering the seventh inning. St. Paul was the designated away team for the first game of the double header and couldn't get any traction in the top half of the inning, managing only a single from junior Leia Zadnik.
In the bottom of the inning, the Pirates opened with a triple to left field and Kordenat opted to load the bases by walking the next two batters, but Perrydale dropped a single to left field on the next at bat to drive in the game-winning run.
Junior Rachel Vela pitched a complete game for the Bucks, giving up five hits and two earned runs while striking out four.
Junior Sadie Smith led the team on offense, driving in sophomore Destiny Smith in the third inning to tie the game at 1-1 and adding another RBI on a bunt in the fifth inning that scored Karlee Southerland and put the Bucks up 3-2.
It didn't take long for the Bucks to find their groove offensively in game two, though, plating all 17 runs in the first three innings of the game.
After getting out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the inning, the Bucks loaded the bases in the bottom of the frame and plated three runs off of two walks, two errors and a wild pitch.
The offensive rally continued in the bottom of the second, as senior Logan Robinson tripled to center field to drive in Southerland and Destiny Smith to make it a 5-0 game. The Bucks added two more runs on RBI-singles from Megan Tuck and Marley Martinez to enter the third with a 7-0 lead.
Perrydale responded with its first two runs of the game in the top of the third, but that's when St. Paul blew the doors off the barn, dropping 10 runs in the third inning to take a commanding 17-2 lead.
"That gave us a little separation," Kordenat said. "The girls relaxed a bit and they played the game that we hope they play every game. They laid down a few good bunts and ran the bases really aggressively, and once that gets rolling, it gets really contagious."
Robinson finished the game two-for-two with a triple, two walks, three runs scored, three RBIs and three stolen bases. Sadie Smith and Destiny Smith also had a strong games at the plate, each going three-for-three with a pair of RBIs. Southerland added three runs of her own, all via walks.
Defensively, the team held Perrydale to two hits behind another complete game from Vela.
The victory snapped a three-game losing streak that began last week with a 17-14 loss at home to Santiam on April 23. The loss was marked by a frightening injury to sophomore Alex Tegland, who broke both bones in her left leg while sliding into third base.
"She just slid late and jammed her foot," Kordenat said. "She went to the hospital and one of the first things she asked was if she was safe or not."
Tegland was at school the next day and continues to be a presence in the dugout for practices and games.
The Bucks (5-8, 2-7 Special District 2) also endured a 22-0 defeat to No. 2 Kennedy April 25 and will face another busy week with four games in six days, starting with a home contest against Western Mennonite (4-9, 2-9 SD2) on Thursday.