Glencoe beats Wilson, advances in state playoffs
So it begins.
The Glencoe Crimson Tide softball team kicked-off their 2018 postseason with an 8-0 win over Wilson Monday, May 21 at Glencoe High School, and they did so the way they normally do – with solid pitching, timely hitting and aggressive running on the base paths.
After a bit of a shaky start that saw Wilson put runners on second and third with but one out in the first inning, the Tide settled down in the second and standout pitcher Izzy Womack did the rest. With offensive help from sophomore Emma Ware and junior centerfielder Jensen Becker, Womack allowed just two hits over seven innings, striking out eight while walking none.
"That first inning we talked about playing within ourselves," said Glencoe head coach Jason Eastman. "Izzy was pumped for a home game and was a little shaky at first, but she adjusted and did well."
Womack admitted a little bit of nerves early-on, but also spoke to the team's focus beyond that first inning, in addition to their will to win with so much on the line. Glencoe's field is being torn-up after the season and being moved and replaced with synthetic turf, so the players have taken ownership of the history and a desire to send it out on a good note.
"We had a conversation last week at practice about how we're the last ones to get to play on this field, so we want to end it on a positive note," said Womack. "So we took that to practice the last couple days and we're fighting for another chance to play together."
At the plate, the Tide were led by junior centerfielder Jensen Becker who finished 2-for-4 with a double, triple and two RBIs, in addition to sophomore outfielder Emma Ware who also had two hits, including a single, triple and three RBIs.
"Emma had a great game," Eastman said. "She's been working on her vision and trying to stay comfortable in the box, and she did a great job tonight."
Ware also admitted to being a little nervous, but said that as a team they were relaxed and ready to go, a week removed from a stressful last week of league play.
"I was a bit nervous, but I think we played well," said Ware. "We had a good week of practice and I think we needed to relax after the last week of Metro, but I think we'll be ready for Wednesday."
Glencoe got a bit of a break in the first inning, when after Wilson used a Maddie Sticka single and an error to put runners on second and third with one out, Olivia McKinnon bunted down the first base line and appeared to drive-in the game's first run. But after a protest by Eastman, the umpires got together and called McKinnon out for interfering with the fielder running down the first baseline and sent the runners back to second and third. Womack got the next batter out on strikes and the Tide had avoided a potentially big opening Trojan inning.
From there it was all Tide. Ash Bailey walked and stole second, then after Morgan DeBord grounded out, Becker smashed a ball off the centerfield wall to plate the game's first run. Ware drove-in two more with a triple in the second and Glencoe added the game's fourth and fifth runs off of Wilson miscues to give the Tide a 5-0 lead after two. They tacked-on one more in each of the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, and Womack did the rest, holding the Trojans to just one hit – a McKinnon single in the seventh – after the shaky first inning.
Alivia Eastman, Glencoe's sophomore third baseman, said as good as Izzy is and was on this night, the team not only has confidence in their senior pitcher, but also in themselves to back her up if she's having a tough night.
"We definitely have confidence in Izzy, but I think we have confidence in all the girls on the field," Alivia Eastman said. "We boost each other up, so if Izzy isn't feeling it, we have her back and we believe in each other as a team."
Now it's on to the second round, where Glencoe will face Tigard who defeated Forest Grove 10-0 to advance to their contest scheduled for May 23 at Glencoe. The Tigers finished second in the Three Rivers League behind top-ranked Tualatin and boast one of the state's better pitchers, a familiar face for Coach Eastman and some of the Tide players.
"She plays for me in the summer," Jason Eastman said. "She can work the ball and is one of the best in the state, so it's going to be tough, but we'll look forward to playing."
Womack, who's a teammate of Davis' in the summer, understands the challenge ahead, but also believes in her team and equally believes they'll be ready to play.
"It's going to be a tough game," she said. "It'll be a fight, but we're ready to go to work at practice tomorrow and we'll be ready come Wednesday."