Buffs in race for second or third
The shorthanded Madras White Buffalo softball team could not handle Gladstone pitcher Shaye Pinner in a 10-0 loss to the Gladiators.
Pinner ended the game with 16 strikeouts, through seven innings.
Madras played without several starters because of injuries and illness. Aspen Holcomb and Jiana Smith-Francis pitched for the Buffs and struck out three batters combined.
Gladstone put up two early runs in the first inning and Dessie Alvarado hit a two-RBI ground ball up the middle in the second, giving Gladstone a 4-0 lead.
Kiza Storer, of Gladstone, hit an RBI up the middle in the fourth inning, extending their lead to 5-0.
In the fifth inning, the Gladiators scored on a passed ball and a White Buffalo error.
Gladstone scored on another passed ball in the seventh inning and Emily Clinkscales hit a double to deep center field, scoring two more runs, giving the Gladiators (17-5 overall, 13-0, TVC) a 10-0 victory over Madras (11-9 overall, 7-6, TVC).
The White Buffalos managed one hit in the sixth inning — senior Arysta Pineda's double to left field for the Buffs.
"When you have four girls not playing that are in your normal lineup, you worry it might mess up the chemistry of the team," said coach Shawna McConnell. "Our girls coming off the bench did a good job. We tried to mix things up by having Aspen come in there and pitch. Sometimes, different style pitchers with a lot of movement can throw off some hitters."
"I am really proud of the girls that stepped up and filled those holes, moved around and played different positions," McConnell said. "I had a lot of different people playing different positions and they played hard. That is all you can ask — playing hard and fighting against a good team."
"Our next couple games are very important," said McConnell. "We would love to win out, but we need to train hard. It is going to be a race for the second and the third spot between Corbett, Crook County and us." Madras softball visited Estacada and beat the Rangers 9-8 on May 2.
The Buffs were led by the hitting of Mary Olney, who went 3-for-4 with two doubles.
Five different Buffalo batters hit the ball, each recording an RBI. Jiana Smith-Francis, Jalaney Suppah, Niyallee Cochran, Arysta Pineda and Hannah Holliday each had one hit.
The Buffs scored one run in each of the first three innings, giving them a 3-0 lead.
Estacada scored two runs of their own in the bottom of the third to narrow the Buffs lead down 3-2.
Madras had a huge fourth inning, scoring six runs and taking a 9-2 lead. The Rangers chipped away at the Buffs' lead, scoring three runs in the fifth inning and one in the sixth, cutting the lead down 9-6.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Madras gave up two runs, but held the Rangers one run short of tying the game for a 9-8 White Buffalo win.
Smith-Francis was on the mound and held off the Rangers' attempt at making a last-inning comeback. She pitched six innings and struck out four batters. Lizzie Steuart closed out the game, pitching the last inning, striking out two batters.
"Estacada hit pretty well this game," said coach McConnell. "We had some heads up defensive plays by Cheydon Herkshan. She was clutch in right field, catching four tough fly balls."
"They made a comeback little by little, but we got ourselves out of a couple jams with good pitching by Jiana and solid defense," McConnell said.
The Buffs moved to 7-5 in the Tri-Valley Conference after the May 2 victory.
The Buffs play Crook County at home, Thursday, May 10, at 4:30 p.m.