Madras softball has bounce-back week
The White Buffalo softball team started the first couple innings against Sweet Home with a two run triple from Jiana Smith Francis to get things started in the Redmond Spring Break Invitational. The Buffs were ahead 2-0 heading into the bottom of the second inning.
A couple of costly errors and a two-run double quickly gave the Huskies a 3-2 lead. The huskies scored two runs in the bottom of the third, led by Sweet Homes' single RBI, and scored again on a Buffs error.
Smith-Francis got the fourth inning going with a double that had the Buffalo dugout on their feet. Ashanti Quintana kept things rolling with a single up the middle to put runners in scoring position. Both Jalaney Suppah and Hannah Holliday were walked to give Smith-Francis have a free walk home.
Madras could not capitalize the rest of the inning as the Huskies made some good stops, making the game 5-3.
Sweet Home got into scoring position, set up by a double and a couple walks. Sweet Home drove in two runners with another Husky double, pushing the Huskies lead to 7-3.
The White Buffalos could not stop the hitting power of the Huskies the rest of the game as they continued to drive in runs. Eventually Sweet Home got a 13-3 victory and the Buffs got their third loss of the season.
"We definitely have not seen what happened this morning to this group yet, they let their heads get the best of them, poor body language, and some attitude," Said McConnell: "I had to remind them, they have to keep fighting and the games are not over until it is over.
"We had a talk about their presence on the field, whether good or bad, do not let them see you sweat. Nothing should affect you to a point where it is going to affect everyone else. We talked about being positive, thinking positive, staying up, giving their best, and picking their intensity."
The Buffalos changed their mentality heading into their second game of the day against the 6A Southridge Skyhawks, to get a close 5-4 victory.
Aspen Holcomb started on the mound for the White Buffalos and held them scoreless through two innings. Southridge scored first with a passed ball in the bottom of the third inning.
The fourth inning is when the White Buffalos really got going. It started with two singles in a row. One hit by Lizzie Steuart and the other by freshman Delaney Vibbert. Steuart was sent home from a ground ball up the middle by Niyallee Cochran.
Vibbert was next to cross home plate as Jalaney Suppah hit a shot up the middle. Ashanti Quintana hit an RBI single to send Suppah home and give the Buffs the lead 3-1.
All five hits for the White Buffalos in the fourth inning came off of singles.
"We try to emphasize to the girls that we do not look for the big hits, the big hits will come. You do not look for the big hit, you look for the base hit; that is what we call a team swing. It doesn't all have to be done with one at-bat. It takes everybody, if everyone get one single we just keep rolling on the bases," said McConnell.
Madras gunned out two players at home to keep Southridge at bay in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Buffs switched up their defensive unit after sending Jiana Smith-Francis to the mound to relieve Holcomb.
The Skyhawks had a hitting spree started by senior Hannah Jagow, who hit a single up the middle and was then hit to third by Lindsey Regalado. Regalado crushed the ball, which hit the fence in center field for a double.
Wrigley Campbell for Southridge also hit a double that would score Jagow. With runners on second and third base, Breanna McGraw hit a grounder up the middle to center fielder Niyallee Cochran who threw a laser home and gunned out Jagow sliding home. The next batter had a base hit, but another Skyhawk was thrown out at home by Quintana.
"I was scared. They tell us to throw low, but I threw it a little high. I just threw it and it worked out for me," said Cochran.
"We have some strong arms in the outfield this year. It is nice to see them being aggressive, and not hesitating," said McConnell "There was communication from the infield so they knew to get rid of it quick and to where they were going and that was an improvement from this morning."
Smith-Francis struck out the final hitter the fourth inning keeping Madras' narrow lead 3-2.
After a couple of bunts and a couple of Southridge errors, the Buffalos scored once more. Steuart hit home teammate Jenna Boyd with a pop fly to the outfield. Vibbert and Cochran also had hits in the inning, but the Buffalos could not send them home to end the top of the fifth with a 4-2 lead.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, both Kirby Fredricksen and McGraw hit a double for Southridge. The bases were loaded after Madras walked its next batter. Two runs scored on a hit from the Skyhawks to tie the game 4-4.
The Buffs held strong the rest of the inning not allowing any more runs to enter the final inning of the game.
Southridge threw its first pitch to Steuart, who blasted it to right field for a double and her second hit of the game. Vibbert then advanced the runner with a ground out to first. Cochran, up to bat with a runner on third, hit a ground ball that scored Steuart in a close sliding play at home. Cochran went 3 for 4 with two RBIs, To put the Buffs in front 5-4.
"I just went in empty-minded, trying to do what I can do for my team, keeping my team in mind," said Steuart.
"My goal today was to get an RBI, and I met that today," said Cochran.
Steuart was the closer for Madras and did not allow a run, with help from center fielder Cochran who made a catch at a full sprint in center field. The Buffs went on to celebrate as they beat the Skyhawks 5-4.
Madras softball captured two victories March 27, in the Redmond Spring Break Invitational. The White Buffalos won 21-11 against Cascade and 12-11 against Redmond.
Madras had the softball flying off its bats as they recorded 21 runs, off 19 hits. The White Buffs were led by sophomore Jiana Smith-Francis, who had four hits, two of them being home runs, and an incredible eight RBIs.
The Buffalos set the tone early, scoring eight runs in the first inning of the game.
Cascade made a run of its own scoring three runs in the third inning and five runs in the fourth inning tying the game eight runs apiece.
"We had an excellent day at the plate for the entire lineup. (We) had one bad inning allowing them back in it, but we didn't buckle; we came back fighting again for a second big offensive inning," noted head coach Shawna McConnell.
Madras was not rattled for long, as it had another huge inning, scoring nine runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. They took a commanding 17-8 lead.
Cascade scored three runs in the sixth inning to shorten the Buffalos lead 17-11.
Smith-Francis took matters into her own hands by ending the game with a three-run homer, 10-running Cascade 21-11.
Arysta Pineda and Lizzie Steuart both added three hits with two RBIs. Niyallee Chochran and Cheydon Herkshan also contributed with an RBI single apiece.
Buffs edge Redmond 12-11
Madras won a hard fought back and forth game against the 5A Redmond Panthers 12-11, who hosted the Redmond spring break invitational. Madras had another great hitting game, with 17 hits compared to Redmonds' 11.
Lizzie Steuart and Niyallee Chochran both hit their first career home runs to help the Buffalos secure their win over the Panthers. Steuart had a two run homer going 2-for-4 and Cochran finished 4-for-4, including an RBI single to go along with her solo home run.
The White Buffalos and the Panthers both hit home three runs to start the game in the first inning.
Redmond had the lead 8-4 going into the bottom of the fourth inning, before the Buffalos had a big five-run inning to take the lead for the first time in the game. The Buffs and the Panthers scored two-runs in the fifth inning and one run in the sixth inning as Madras won its third game straight 12-11.
Arysta Pineda had another great hitting game going 4-for-5 batting. Mary Olney, Jiana Smith-Francis, Genesis Quiroz and Jalaney Suppah all recorded two hits in the game. Olney contributed with an RBI, Quiroz with two RBIs and Suppah with four.
McConnell noted, "We had a lot of timely hits in this back and forth battle. (It) was an exciting day all around. (The players) did not give up, they kept battling, and defensively we had some great plays by rookie catcher Hannah Holliday and shortstop Niyallee Cochran."
The Buffs moved to 4-3 on the season. Madras softball plays Molalla twice this week — Friday, April 6, in Molalla, and at home Monday, April 9.