LOCAL SPORTS NOTEBOOK/Sass, Harrison also competing in major college softball/prep spring sports just around the corner

COURTESY: ST. HELENS SPORTS BOOSTER CLUB - St. Helens Middle School Athletes of the Month (from left): Ashley Hernandez (8th-grade girls basketball) , Ruby Nelson (8th-grade girls basketball), Michael Cobabe (6th-grade wrestling), Wyatt Dingman (7th-grade wrestling), Aden Oehlert (8th-grade wrestling), Caitlin Keefe (7th-grade girls basketball) and Maisy McDole (7th-grade girls basketball).Hannah Galey, freshman first baseman, continued to start for the University of Oregon as the Ducks went 2-2 in the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational at Clearwater, Florida last weekend.

Galey went 2 for 9 with two walks and one stolen base.

The Ducks, who were ranked 19th and now are No. 17, knocked off No. 8 LSU 8-5 in their first game of the tourney. Oregon lost 9-1 in six innings to No. 23 James Madison, then got a no-hitter from Jordan Dail in a 2-0 victory over Florida Atlantic before losing 13-2 in five innings to 18th-ranked Kentucky.

This week, Oregon is in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic at Cathedral City, California, playing five of six games unranked teams. The Ducks had two games on Thursday and will take on Army on Friday, Texas A&M and No. 23 Texas Tech on Saturday and UC Santa Barbara on Sunday.

• At Oregon State, softball player Michelle Sass from St. Helens High is back for her senior season.

A utility player for the Beavers, she has appeared in two games this season, going 0 for 2 at the plate.

Oregon State is off to an 8-2 start, with four games scheduled for this weekend in the University of the Pacific Libby Matson Tournament at Stockton, California.

• Another college softball player, catcher Sage Harrison from Scappoose High, is competing as a junior catcher for Francis Marion, an NCAA Division I team in Florence, South Carolina. She transferred there after two seasons with Seward County Community College in Liberal, Kansas.

Harrison has been in two games this season, and in two plate appearances, she is 1 for 1 with a walk, an RBI and a stolen base.

Francis Marion has a 9-3 record.

• The change of prep seasons is just about upon us.

Spring sports begin official practices on Monday for baseball, softball, track and field, tennis and golf.

Several new head coaches are in the area. At Scappoose, Cameron Webb takes over the baseball program, Catherine Tardif assumes the job for softball, and Dennis Olstedt is the head of track and field. St. Helens also has a new head track and field coach in Megan Cox.

The first spring contests are scheduled for Monday, March 11. Weather permitting, on that day St. Helens will go to Lebanon for baseball.

On March 12, Scappoose baseball is slated to play host to South Albany, while Indians softball plays at South Albany.

St. Helens is set to open its softball season with a March 16 game at Pendleton.

The first track and field meet is March 15, with Scappoose at the Mark Cotton Invitational hosted by Grant High.

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