The Madras White Buffalos softball squad hosted the Gladstone Gladiators May 3, and the game between league titans lived up to its billing, needing extra innings.
In the battle of Tri-Valley League top dogs, Gladstone edged out Madras in extra innings. The Buffs and Gladiators both were 10-2 in league play, with both teams beating each other once this season.
Gladstone's victory likely sealed a Tri-Valley title for the Gladiators.
The game remained 0-0 until the bottom of the second inning. Delaney Vibbert hit a triple to right field to start things off and freshman Marilyn Tom hit a hard grounder between first and second base for an RBI single and the Buffalos took an early 1-0 lead.
In the top of the fourth inning, Carmen Collins blasted a ball over the center field fence for a solo home run, tying the game for Gladstone.
A few plays later, the Buffs dropped a throw to first and Gladstone scored another run. Aubrey Jayne stepped to the plate for the Gladiators and ripped a shot down the right field line for an RBI triple and Gladstone took a 3-1 lead.
Madison Bradley hit a triple to right field in the top of the fifth inning for Gladstone and Collins hit a grounder to shortstop. The Madras shortstop threw the ball to home plate, trying to get out Bradley, but the throw was too late and Gladstone advanced their lead to 4-1.
The score remained the same until the bottom of the seventh inning, with the Lady Buffs up to bat.
The bases were loaded with Vibbert at the plate. Vibbert hit a grounder to shortstop, who threw the ball to third for an out, but a Madras runner scored in the process.
Madras loaded the bases once more with two outs in the inning. Aspen Holcomb blasted a ball to center field that hit the fence for a two-RBI double, tying the game at 4-4.
The Buffs couldn't capitalize after the big hit and the game went into the eighth inning.
In the top of the eighth inning, Gladstone had runners on second and third, with one out and Jayne was up to bat.
Jayne hit a deep ball to center field for an out, but the Gladstone runner at third tagged up and scored a run. The Gladiators took a 5-4 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth inning.
Madras had runners on first and third with two outs and the game on the line.
Jayne, who had pitched all game for Gladstone, struck out the Madras batter and clinched a huge 5-4 win over the Madras White Buffalos.
Vibbert led the Lady Buffs, going 3-for-4 with a triple. Holcomb finished the game 2-for-4 with an RBI double at the plate, while Hannah Holiday ended the game 1-for-2 batting.
"Defensively we definitely could have made a few more routine plays, but it was a great, exciting game, just like you would want to see by the top two teams in the league," head coach Shawna McConnell said. "It was unfortunate the game ended like it did, but again, we left 10 girls on base and could have played error-free. We outhit Gladstone, but errors really killed us."
Battle with Huskies
The Lady Buffs traveled to North Marion May 1, and defeated the Huskies 5-4 in a competitive game.
North Marion scored first in the bottom of the first inning, taking a 1-0 lead early. Madras came back strong, scoring three runs in the third inning and one run in both the fourth and fifth innings, taking a 5-1 lead.
The Lady Buffs were held scoreless the rest of the game and the Huskies came out swinging in the bottom of the sixth inning. North Marion scored three runs in the inning, but Madras was able to hold them off with good defense.
"We really had some amazing pitching and defense," McConnell said. "There was a great double play made between Mary (Olney), Delaney (Vibbert) and Ashanti (Quintana). Delaney also had a great diving catch in the bottom of the seventh inning. The ball was popped up into foul territory behind first base and she made the catch."
"During the last out of the game, a hard grounder was hit to Jiana (Smith-Francis) and she looked relaxed and confident, making the play to end the game. Each team had only one error, so it was a very good defensive game on both sides."
Niyallee Cochran went 2-for-4 with a double at the plate and Lizzie Steuart ended the game 2-for-4 with an RBI single for Madras. Vibbert was able to go 1-for-2 with an RBI single, while Olney went 1-for-4 with an RBI double.
Madras also traveled to Corbett April 29, beating the Cardinals 11-5 with two big late innings to secure the victory.
The Lady Buffs looked very sharp to start the game, taking an early 5-1 lead heading into the bottom of the third inning.
Corbett put their nose to the grindstone and slowing tied the game at 5-5, scoring one run in the bottom of the third, one run in the bottom of the fourth and two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Madras needed a big play or spark to start a rally and finish out the game strong. Cochran stepped to the plate in the top of the sixth inning, hitting a three-run homer, giving the Lady Buffs the lead back.
The White Buffalos scored three more runs in the seventh inning to help secure their victory.
Holcomb had a monster game for Madras, going 4-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI at the plate. Cochran went 1-for-3 with a three-run homer and Kathryce Danzuka ended the game 1-for-2 with an RBI double.
Steuart pitched a great game for Madras, recording eight strikeouts through seven innings.
"Corbett played a clean game, but we just chipped away and ended the game with two big innings," said McConnell. "The Cardinals were able to score two runs on one of our errors, but it was a solid team effort, both offensively and defensively."
The Lady Buffs have their senior night at 4:30 p.m. Thurdsay, May 9, against the Estacada Rangers.
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