Spot in the 5A finals at stake at home Tuesday against Bulldogs
Sandy hosts West Albany in a semifinal matchup Tuesday
After Sandys thrilling win over Redmond on Friday, the Pioneers couldnt celebrate for long. They knew West Albany awaited in Tuesdays state semifinal, and that game required all of their attention.
The Bulldogs won their final 10 league games, outscoring their opponents 141-2 in that stretch. They finished with a 20-1 record in Mid-Willamette Conference play to take the league title.
West Albany and Sandy jockeyed for position in the OSAA rankings throughout the season, especially late. Sandy finished ranked second and West Albany was third. The Bulldogs reached the semis by earning shutout wins over Willamette and Hood River Valley.
Like Sandy, West Albany has relied heavily on stellar pitching on its way to success. The Bulldogs are led in the pitchers circle by the duo of Kelsey Broadus and Julie Smith-Harrington. The pair has combined to hurl 19 shutouts this season. Broadus and Smith-Harrington entered Tuesdays contest against Sandy allowing 0.97 runs per game. Whats most impressive is that both pitchers are just freshmen.
With top-ranked Pendleton now out of the tournament, Sandy and West Albany were the two highest ranked squads remaining. Both teams could have made case that they were the best team in the state in the regular season. Tuesdays winner advanced to Saturdays title game for a chance to prove it.