INTO THE FUTURE: Allyah Cates, Scappoose softball fight to finish in Class 4A quarterfinal loss to Henley
Allyah Cates' fifth-inning home run to center banished the idea that the No. 9 Indians would give in.
The senior right fielder broke top-ranked Henley's shutout -- a feat neither Class 6A South Medford nor Class 5A's fourth-ranked Ridgeview and 10th-ranked Mountain View, Class 4A eighth-ranked Gladstone, the Hornets' Skyline Conference rivals Klamath Union, North Valley, Phoenix, Mazama and Hidden Valley or their first-round victim Ontario could achieve -- at 7-1 in an 11-1, six-inning quarterfinal defeat on Friday, May 26, in Klamath Falls.
"Ending my Scappoose career on a home run was me leaving everything on that field," said Cates, whose round-tripper was her third of the year. "As a senior, I didn't want to leave the game wishing I would have done more for my team."
Trips to Henley have not favored the Tribe (23-5 overall), as the Indians fell 11-0 in the quarterfinals in 2009 and 12-2 in six semifinal innings in 2008.
In fact, the Hornets (29-0) are unbeaten at home since they fell 11-5 to Mazama on May 9, 2015.
"We definitely could have competed better," said Scappoose junior Gabie Krueger, who singled to right with two outs in the sixth. "We were a younger team, so we did what we could: They hit it where we weren't."
Henley, the only perfect team in all six Oregon School Activities Association softball classifications as it scores the second-most runs (392) to Class 3A Scio (415) and ties returning Class 3A champion Rainier for the third-fewest allowed (45), will face all-state senior infielder Aspen Christiansen and sixth seed Crook County (21-5) for the crown at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the Oregon State University Softball Complex in Corvallis after junior Tanner Higgins' fifth-inning RBI clinched a 1-0 semifinal defeat of fifth seed La Grande on Tuesday.
The four-time defending Skyline Conference champion Hornets can win it all for the first time since they beat Sweet Home for the Class AA/A crown 28 years ago, and the Tri-Valley Conference-winning Cowboys chase their first title ever.
Hornets sophomore Lilly Poe struck out only five on May 26 as the Tribe, which reached the quarterfinals for the third year in a row and, after last year's semifinal loss to Banks will have fallen to the last two state champions if Henley wins on Saturday, attacked pitches but landed three hits.
Henley senior Jess Pettigrew's two-out home run to center in the first freed sophomore Kaila Mick, senior McKenna Armantrout reached with a two-out grounder and an Indians error at first to bring in junior Maddie Hamilton in the second, and Mick's single to left scored junior Braydee Kaier two pitches later.
Hadley Enos doubled to right with two outs in the second and Nicole Lukinbeal walked with two outs in the third, but the Hornets collected a respective strikeout and a groundout to third base to end the threats.
Armantrout's double to left freed Hamilton with an out in the fourth, and Mick's flyout to first brought in Baley and Armantrout.
Cates hit her third pitch out of the park with an out in the fifth, but Hamilton lay down a one-out bunt and scored Pettigrew for an 8-1 lead.
Armantrout's homer to center sprang Baley before the first out in the sixth, and Poe's single to center helped Pettigrew beat the throw to the plate for the 10-run finisher.
Nicole Dougherty pitched the first five innings for three of 10 earned runs, 10 hits, a walk and struck out two.
Hannah Galey led Indians batters this spring with a .608 average, 18 singles, 10 doubles, six triples, what coach Cijay Koler claims to be a new single-season-record 14 home runs, 60 runs batted in and 56 scores, and Krueger (.574, 36 singles, 14 doubles, five triples, seven home runs, 60 RBIs and 57 runs) and Nicole Lukinbeal (.486, 24 singles, six doubles, three triples, three home runs, 29 RBIs and 38 runs) followed.
Dougherty threw to a 14-4 record through 23 appearances, 78 hits, 28 of 65 earned runs, 58 walks and struck out 70 in 101 1/3 innings.
Krueger, Enos, Galey, Dougherty, Megan Dews and Hannah Ragan are next year's prospective seniors who can challenge for Scappoose's first title since 1995 after Henley graduates all-state talents Armantrout, Baley and Pettigrew, and Banks (14-1 in the Cowapa League), whose runners-up the Tribe (13-2) has been three years in a row since Yamhill-Carlton left for the Oregon West Conference, loses six seniors including all-state infielder Mary Schorn.
The Indians reached the quarterfinals with a 9-0 play-in defeat of 25th-ranked Estacada and a 12-2 five-inning first-round upset of eighth-seeded Yamhill-Carlton.
"We had a lot of new people to varsity, and we all meshed really well after losing four starters [all-state pitcher Kendal Bailey, all-state catcher Sage Harrison, Jessie Dykes and Ashley MacInnis]," said Galey, an all-state shortstop in last spring's semifinal run. "We got into the zone in the middle of the year and were finesse, but at times we were sloppy. We're losing two seniors [Cates and Lukinbeal], but we have 15 [players] returning. Next year should be our year."
Henley 11, Scappoose 1 (Six innings)
1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
S 0 0 0 0 1 0 -- 1 3 4
H 2 2 0 3 1 3 -- 11 12 0