Kennedy roundup: Softball shoots into the top 5 at 2A
After coming up short in the first two games of the season against Scio and Grant Union/Prairie City, Kennedy's softball team has been on quite a tear against its 2A/1A Special District 2 opposition. The Trojans routed St. Paul 15-0 in a nonleague competition on March 22, then defeated Jefferson, Western Christian, Santiam and Central Linn by a combined score of 41-6.
The Trojans have been led by junior pitcher Jenna Hopkins and have soared into the top 5 softball teams in the state at 2A/1A, joining the likes of Grant Union/Prairie City (10-0), Glide (7-1), North Douglas (8-1) and Nestucca (5-1).
Kennedy (5-2) faces familiar foes Gervais (1-7) and Colton (0-6) on April 11 and April 14, respectively, before battling 3A Dayton (4-5) on April 15.
After storming through the Colton Vikings in the first league series of the year, Kennedy was upset by the Western Christian Pioneers 5-4 in the first meeting of the teams on April 6.
Kennedy got its bats going in that first matchup, collecting 10 hits against the Pioneers' pitching staff and defense and getting runs from junior Luke Beyer, senior Riley Cantu, junior Ethan Kleinschmit and junior Brian Beyer. But Western Christian nabbed five runs of their own between the third and fifth innings that proved to be the difference-makers.
In the second matchup of the series on April 8, Kennedy shut out Western Christian to win 15-0. Junior Andrew Cuff pitched a shutout, picking up 10 strikeouts in 20 batters faced and giving up just five hits and one error.
On the other side of the ball, Kennedy scored 15 runs on nine hits and nine walks, including a massive 10-run first inning. Charlie Beyer and Cantu each had three RBIs, two hits and a run in the contest; Luke Beyer scored four runs with two hits and an RBI, and Cuff, Ethan Kleinschmit and junior Owen Bruner each had two hits. Bruner also had three runs and two RBIs.
In the final game of the series, also on April 8, Kennedy again shut out Western Christian, this time 13-0. Kennedy put up those 13 runs on 14 hits and just two walks. This time, Ethan Kleinschmit held the mound, striking out nine of 14 batters and throwing 41 strikes in 62 total pitches.
Brian Beyer had threes across the board at-bat: in three at-bats he put up three runs, three hits and three RBIs. Bruner had three hits and three RBIs along with a run.
Kennedy (9-1) will move on to face off against Sheridan (0-4) on April 12.
Track and field
Kennedy played host to a meet with competition from 2A all the way up to 4A, welcoming Amity, Blanchet Catholic, Colton, East Linn Christian, Jefferson and Molalla to Mount Angel on Thursday, April 7. The home teams fell in the middle of the pack score-wise, with the boys earning 76.25 points to take fifth place and the girls earning 123 points to take third.
On the boys side of the action, sophomore Elijah Traeger took first in the javelin with a throw of 143 feet, 8 inches, beating the second place thrower by 20 feet.
For the girls, Kennedy's 4x100-meter relay team took first place with a time of 55.26 seconds thanks to the efforts of sophomore Alyse Williams, freshman Amber Handran, senior Kylee Rodriguez and junior Haley Kline. Williams, Rodriguez, Kline and sophomore Briar Hachenberg also took first place in the 4x400-meter relay with a time of 4:49.51.
In the pole vault, Hachenberg took first place with a height of 6 feet, 6 inches.
Kennedy's track teams will next compete in a 3A/2A meet at Blanchet on April 14.
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