Banks dominating on the diamonds
Banks remains perfect.
As of Tuesday, April 27, both the Braves' baseball and softball teams have yet to record a loss, carding a combined 12-0 record.
The softball team has outscored their opponents by an aggregate score of 72-16, with wins over league foes Astoria, Valley Catholic, Seaside and Tillamook (twice), while adding a non-conference win over the Metro League's Westview Wildcats' Junior Varsity team.
In softball, Banks has been a hitting machine through six games, with five starters hitting better than .500 and five more hitting better than .300.
Senior Jessica Stewart leads the softball squad with a .667 batting average, while junior Sydney Maller sits at .600, senior Maddie Vandehey is hitting .526, and both sophomore Alex Saunders and junior Hayden Rockwell are batting an even .500. Maller, Vandehey and Rockwell all have homeruns.
In the circle, Vandehey has led the way, allowing just two earned runs on 12 hits, while striking out 15 and walking one in 14.1 innings of work. Stewart too has been impressive, allowing two earned runs on 12 hits, while striking out 13 and walking just one in 10.2 innings of work.
Meanwhile, the Braves baseball squad — still the defending 4A state champions, due to last season's cancellation — is also 6-0, averaging more than 12 runs a game over the team's first two weeks of action.
Senior Conner Stone, junior Cole Belden and freshman Wyatt Hesselman are all batting over .400.
Additionally at the plate, Senior Cam Louie, Junior Charlie White, sophomore Wyatt Selleck, Belden, Stone and Hesselman all have tallied double figures in RBIs. White has three home runs, with Hesselman and Logan Kind each notching a single round-tripper.
On the mound, the Banks baseball team has been led by senior Riley Harbaugh, who has accounted for three of the Braves' six wins without a loss and has yet to relinquish a run.
In baseball, the Braves have wins over league foes Tillamook, Astoria, Valley Catholic and Seaside, with a 16-6 nonleague win over Philomath.
Both the baseball and softball teams will be aiming for the 4A's culminating week "showcase," which will feature an eight-team tournament composed of the No. 1 team from each of the six leagues, along with the two highest-ranked No. 2 teams, as determined by a committee.
The committee will release the first rankings after the third week and the final rankings May 15. The first round of the double-elimination tournament will be May 18, followed by the semifinals May 20 and the trophy games May 22.
In a change from the shortened "fall sports" season earlier this spring, home sites will be used through the semifinals, rather than the quarterfinals. Just as in that season, though, if a team must make a round trip of at least 360 miles, the game will be played at a neutral site.
North Marion High School is scheduled to play host to the showcase baseball final, third-place game and consolation final, but a game could be moved for geographical reasons.
A final site for softball has yet to be determined, with several possibilities being considered, among them college facilities at Oregon State University in Corvallis, the University of Oregon in Eugene, and Willamette University in Salem.
Organizers had considered expanding the brackets to 16 teams, and extending the season one week, if traditional winter sports activities were prohibited by state guidance. But the governor's office and the Oregon Health Authority have updated their guidance to allow for full-contact indoor sports, clearing the way for basketball and wrestling.
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