Tigers take two in 6A softball tournament
Newberg softball made history with its 1-0 win over Jesuit on May 25: the team advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time in program history.
The win was once again thanks in large part to senior pitcher Serayah Neiss who outdid her round 1 performance by striking out 20 of the 23 Jesuit batters she faced. Neiss allowed a single hit and one walk the entire game, cementing herself as one of the best pitchers in the state.
The game winning run came in the bottom of the third inning when sophomore pinch runner Maggie Saunders scored on a fielding error thanks to a Scarlett Olivas line drive. Neiss and junior Kiley Harris were the only Tigers to register a hit during the game, and only Harris and junior Abby Carsley reached the base on walks.
Newberg (23-5) faced off against the No. 1 overall seed Tigard Tigers on Friday (results unavailable at press time). The game was a rematch of a non-league matchup played on April 13 in which Tigard were the victors 7-1.
Newberg 4, Roseburg 2
It was a pitcher's battle most on Monday evening, but the game was ultimately decided at the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning.
In the opening round of the Class 6A softball playoffs, Newberg junior Abby Carsley crushed a pitch over the left field fence to score three runs and secure a come-from-behind 4-2 win over Roseburg in extra innings. Carsley's homer drove in sophomore pinch runner Saunders and junior Kiley Harris, who had reached base on consecutive singles.
"Once she hit it, my heart exploded for her and the team," NHS coach Ashley Thomas said. "(Neiss) had thrown a great game and with a couple of mistakes we (were) in jeopardy of losing. They all rallied around each other and came through in the end. As a coach, it is the best thing to see a whole team contribution. I was just so proud of them."
Roseburg had a 2-1 lead in the top of eighth after the visiting Indians' sophomore Emelie Morello stole home on a passed ball, putting the Tigers' backs up against the wall.
Heading into the extra inning, the game was a largely low scoring affair thanks to the pitching duel between seniors Neiss and Roseburg's Kami Gibson. In eight innings Neiss gave up two hits, two runs and one walk while striking out 17 Roseburg batters. Gibson went the distance and allowed seven hits, four runs, no walks and struck out eight Newberg batters.
"She really buckles down in pressure situations and so as we continue she just needs stay dialed in," Thomas said of Neiss. "She just needs to continue to be who she is and do what she does because she is pretty great!"
The game was scoreless through five innings, with Roseburg taking a brief lead in the top of the sixth before Tiger junior Scarlett Olivas drove in Baylee Nix for the equalizer.
According to OSAA archives, NHS softball has advanced to the postseason seven times since 1982 and has made it past the first round twice before this year.
"It means that their hard work is paying off. It shows promise for future years and this wonderful program," Thomas said.
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