Buffalos split with Gladiators, lose to Molalla
The Madras softball team had a crazy week of ball, going 1-2 this week, but staying near the top of the Tri-Valley Conference.
Most recently, the Lady Buffs traveled to Molalla, April 19, losing to the Inidans 9-2.
Madras was able to strike first with a run in the top of the second inning, but the Indians scored nine runs combined in the third and fourth innings.
The Buffs scored in the top of the sixth inning, but it wasn't enough to make a comeback against Molalla.
Madras had four different pitchers take the mound during their loss. Marilyn Tom, Lizzie Steuart, Jaden Davis and Jiana Smith-Francis all pitched, combining for two strikeouts and nine batter either being walked or hit by a pitch.
The Lady Buffs had six hits as a team and three errors, while Molalla had three hits as a team and no errors.
Jonnisa Scott led the Lady Buffs batting, going 1-for-2 with an RBI single. Hannah Holliday, Delaney Vibbert and Smith-Francis all ended the game 1-for-2, while Steuart went 1-for-3 with a double.
"We let the rain get to us," head coach Shawna McConnell said. "It was not a fun day in the rain for our pitchers. We were just not able to get any offense going. The team hit decent, but it was always to a fielder for an out."
Mud game victory
Madras battled Gladstone twice this week in a battle of the top Tri-Valley teams. The Lady Buffs played Gladstone April 15, but due to the rain, the game had to be finished at Gladstone on April 17.
They finished their game and beat the Gladiators 16-6, but played an entire new game against Gladstone right after, losing 13-0.
During the first part of the April 15 game, Madras scored their first run in the first inning. Senior Mary Olney blasted the ball over the left field fence for a solo home run.
The rain started from a drizzle to consistent rainfall as the game continued. Madras and Gladstone were both held scoreless in the second inning, but the Lady Buffs were able to get the bats going in the third and fourth innings.
Scott started things off for the Lady Buff with a deep hit to center field for a double. Niyalee Cochran hit a hard ground ball to the pitcher who couldn't make a play. Olney crushed a slap hit to the pitcher, but a bad throw to third base, scored Scott.
Steuart hit a grounder to short and Cochran was caught in a pickle. Cochran was able to stay composed and crossed home plate safely.
Vibbert was walked and the bases were loaded for the Buffalos. Another error by the Gladiators saw Olney score and Aspen Holcomb stepped to the plate with two runners on base.
Holcomb saw the ball fly off her bat and right over the right field fence for a three- run home run and Madras took an early 7-0 lead.
The Gladiators scored their first run in the top of the fourth inning, but great defense held the Gladiators to only one run in the inning.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Steuart hit a line drive RBI to deep left field. Smith-Francis was able to hit a shot to shallow left field for an RBI double and Tom hit Steuart home hit a grounder to short.
Holcomb hit a hard ground ball to a diving Gladstone shortstop and Holliday hit a two RBI grounder up the middle, giving Madras a big 13-1 lead.
The rain was pouring and the field was a mud pit, but if the Buffalos stopped Gladstone the game would be over.
There were two outs with a runner at first and Madras decided to intentionally walk a batter, putting runners on first and second for an easy force out.
Only one out away, Gladstone batter, Marrin McLeod crushed the ball for a two RBI double, making the score 13-3. McLeod was soon hit home by Savannah Tunon, who hit an RBI single to left field.
The umpires saw enough and decided to call the game because of the downpour of rain. The game would be continued with the score at 13-4 and a Gladstone runner on second. The game continued at Gladstone April 17.
The Gladiators scored two more runs when the game started again, but the Buffalos scored one run in the bottom of the fifth inning and three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to be Gladstone in six innings.
"I thought this game was really fun," said Mary Olney after the game was delayed April 15. "I think playing in the mud is fun and the team was really getting after it. We saw Gladstone as our toughest game of the season and we were going to come after them, whether it was rain or shine."
"All we wanted to do was finish the game and continue to play," she said. "I personally just told everyone on our team that we were going to hit well in the game. I feel like our defense is really solid, so if we can hit the ball we can hang with a lot of teams."
Olney led the Buffs at the plate going 4-for-5 with a home run, triple, and an RBI single. Steuart finished the game 4-for-4 with two RBI singles and a double, while Holcomb went 2-for-4 with a three-run home run.
Smith-Francis ended the game 2-for-4 with an RBI single and an RBI double, while Scott went 2-for-4 with an RBI double. Holiday was 2-for-4 with an RBI single, while Tom went 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Madras recorded 18 hits as a team with no errors, while Gladstone had seven hits and four errors. Steuart pitched for Madras, recording two strikeouts.
Slayed by Gladiators
The second game was completely opposite for Madras, losing in five innings to the Gladiators.
Gladstone scored 12 runs in the first three innings and one run in the fourth inning, combining for seven hits as a team.
The Buffalos were held scoreless in the game, recording two hits and four errors. Tom and Scott both went 1-for-2 at the plate.
"This game was a total turn around," McConnell said. "After they scored a few runs, we looked defeated and just couldn't get the bats going. Gladstone took advantage of the things going wrong for us and we were beating ourselves. The team had to many walks and mental mistakes, but Aspen (Holcomb) did a great job closing out the game on the mound to get us out of the game."
The Lady Buffs (10-4 overall, 5-3 league play) host the Estacada Rangers (5-10 overall, 1-5 league play) at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 24. They travel to Estacada April 26 and to Corbett April 29, with both games starting at 4:30 p.m.