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Softball: North Marion picks up first win of the season

Huskies score late to defeat Cascade Cougas 7-4 on Friday

PHIL HAWKINS - North Marion junior Hannah Kinniburgh struck out three in a complete-game victory over the Cascade Cougars on Friday.
The North Marion softball team picked up its first victory of the season, defeating the Cascade Cougars 7-4 on Friday in a road game that snapped a three game string of scoreless games.

The Huskies (1-10, 1-6 Oregon West Conference) entered Friday's game in an offensive slump. Since opening the month of April with a pair of high-scoring losses to Valley Catholic and Newport, in which the team put up a combined 19 runs in two games, North Marion had scored one run total in four league losses leading up to the team's first showdown of the season with the Cougars (3-9, 2-6).

But the Huskies' bats came alive in their first trip of the season to Turner, breaking up a 4-4 tie midway through the game by scoring a pair of runs in the top of the fourth and one more in the seventh. They came away with the three-run victory and their first win since the play-in round of last year's postseason.

North Marion junior Hannah Kinniburgh pitched a complete game in the victory, striking out three in the process to extend the Huskies' winning streak against the Cougars to four games. North Marion swept Cascade in all three games last year and is 5-2 against the Cougars since joining the Oregon West Conference before the 2014-15 athletic season.

The Huskies were scheduled to host the Cougars in Monday in a rematch, with the two teams meeting on May 11 at North Marion High School for the final game of the regular season.

As North Marion nears the halfway point of the league schedule, the Huskies are in position to finish on a strong note. Of the team's six losses in league, all have come against the Oregon West's top three teams: Yamhill-Carlton (11-8, 8-1), Newport (10-6, 7-2) and Philomath (9-6, 5-3).

Due to rain delays, the Huskies have yet to play the Stayton Eagles (3-10, 1-6) and have just the one game against the Cougars, who sit just a half game ahead of North Marion for fourth place in the league standings.

After one of the wettest Aprils in recent memory, the weather is expected to clear up in May, allowing baseball and softball teams throughout the Willamette Valley to recoup a number of games in the final two weeks of the season that have been put off.

Following the scheduled game against Cascade, the Huskies will travel to Yamhill-Carlton on Tuesday, host Newport on Wednesday and play at Stayton on Saturday afternoon to close out the week.

Phil Hawkins covers all things sports and Gervais. He can be reached at 503-765-1194 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..