Lady Buffalos finish regular season strong
The Madras High School softball team finished the regular season strong, 10-running both Molalla and Estacada, securing a postseason game.
Madras played on their senior night May 9, against Estacada at home and consistently scored throughout the game for a 10-0 victory in six innings.
The Lady Buffs scored one run in the first inning and two runs in the second, third and fourth innings, taking a 7-0 run.
Madras was held scoreless in the fifth inning, but scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, securing their victory.
Lizzie Steuart pitched all six innings, recording eight strikeouts against 22 batters. Niyalee Cochran had a big game for the Lady Buffs going 4-for-5 with three RBI singles.
"I have been on varsity since my freshman year," Steuart said. "I was scared my freshman year, trying to find my spot on the team. I was more comfortable my sophomore year and things just carried over. It challenged me and made me really push myself being a young kid at the varsity level."
"This was my only senior night and I wanted it to go perfect," she said. "I kept thinking about how this was our day and I wanted all the seniors to do well. I have been playing on that field for four years, so it was hard to let go."
Sophomore Delaney Vibbert went 3-for-4 with two RBI singles, while freshman Marilyn Tom ended the night 3-for-4 with a walk-off RBI single.
"This was our second error-free game this week and it shows how far this team has come," head coach Shawna McConnell said. "The team has grown in confidence and maturity. We were consistent, confident, and chipped away throughout the game. It was a great day to honor our seniors. We will miss this group of seven amazing girls."
Steuart, Cochran, Mary Olney, Genesis Quiroz, Ashanti Quintana, Jackie Zamora-Heath and Nathasha Lopez were all honored during the Lady Buffs' seniors night.
"This was the first senior night for me," Cochran said. "It was pretty emotional and I was so happy all my family came and the game was really good. We were all happy for senior night, but we knew we still had a game to play and turned things on when we needed to."
"Senior night was awesome," Olney said. "It is crazy because this one was different. It is really the last thing you are going to do in high school. Everyone was hugging me and supported me and now that chapter is coming to an end."
Madras recorded 16 hits to beat the Molalla Indians 10-0 May 7. The Lady Buffs only needed five innings to defeat Molalla and didn't have a single error in the game.
"We had an excellent error-free game and great pitching by Lizzie (Steaurt), with Hannah (Holliday) calling pitches behind the plate," McConnell said. "Lizzie created a lot of ground balls, which our defense handles perfectly. Everyone hit well in the lineup and it was an awesome team effort. The girls played with confidence and poise."
Vibbert led the Lady Buffs at the plate going 2-for-4 with an RBI single and RBI double. Jiana Smith-Francis went 2-for-3 with an RBI single, while Steuart ended the day 2-for-4 with an RBI double.
"The team gets along great; I don't have many problems," Cochran said. "We know everyone's strengths and how to use that. The team has great chemistry, but we are all really good at this game. No matter what, we always come together and do what we know we can do. After we beat Gladstone, we knew how good we could be."
Cochran and Olney both finished the game 2-for-3 at the plate, while Tom went 1-for-3 with an RBI double and Kathryce Danzuka went 1-for-2 with an RBI single.
The Lady Buffs ended the regular season with a 17-5 overall record and a 12-3 Tri-Valley League record. Madras was right behind Gladstone (19-4 overall, 13-2 league play) in their conference this season and earned a postseason game.
"Everyone is good on the team and everyone knows their role," Olney said. "I love that everyone knows how good our teammates are and really picks them up if they are having a bad game. We are like a family."
Madras will play Wednesday, May 26, with the team and place still being determined.
"Last year, we were just excited to make a postseason game," said Cochran. "This season, we are ready. The team has put in so much hard work and I don't mind it."
The Madras softball team played North Bend High School last postseason and lost 2-1 in extra innings.
"We all want it," Steuart said. "The whole team wants to keep going. We have gotten so much better every practice and game. I cannot wait to see what happens."
"This is something we all have dreamed about," Olney said. "Now it's here, we have a shot and we can do it. I think we have a great shot at moving on and doing something good."
The Lady Buffs scheduled a tune-up game against 6A Bend High School at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, May 16, to help get ready to make a postseason run.