Kennedy Roundup: Softball rolls through league
Kennedy's defense and pitching are not just impressive throughout the Special District 2; they are impressive across the state.
At the 2A/1A level, no team who has played more than four games has allowed fewer runs than Kennedy has with 37. The Trojans have recorded five shutouts and have held their opponents to two runs or fewer in 11 out of 17 games played.
Most recently, Kennedy got the 12-0 shoutout over Gervais (3-17) in five innings. Junior pitcher Jenna Hopkins threw a perfect game, giving up no hits, runs, errors or walks against 15 batters faced. Hopkins struck out eight batters, throwing 35 strikes on 42 pitches.
On the other side of the plate, Kennedy recorded a pair of five-run innings, one in the top of the first and one in the top of the fifth, to close the show out. Hopkins drove in four runs, while senior Morgan Kyle drove in three of her own. Freshmen Isabel Berning and Grace Talbot each scored a pair of runs, as did Hopkins.
Kennedy has two games left before the playoffs. First, the Trojans square off against 3A Amity (5-15) on May 17 in a game rescheduled from April 19. Then in the last league game of the season, Kennedy hosts Santiam (12-6) on May 19 in attempt to go unbeaten in league.
Kennedy won the season series against the Culver Bulldogs 2-1. The Trojans earned the first win on the road 2-0 on May 10 before splitting a doubleheader at home with an 8-2 win and an 8-3 defeat.
With the 2-1 series result, Kennedy secured the 2A/1A Special District 2 championship. Even if Western Christian wins its three remaining league contests, the Pioneers will still finish a half-game behind the Trojans in the district rankings.
With a record of 20-3 overall, Kennedy now faces a pair of nonleague opponents before the postseason. First, the Trojans will travel to face off against 3A Santiam Christian (17-6) on May 16. Then Kennedy hosts Monroe (19-5) on May 19.
Track and field
At the Special District 2 championships on May 13-14, Kennedy managed to qualify more than a handful of its athletes berths in the state championships in Eugene.
On the girls side of the events, junior Haley Kline place second in the 200-meter dash and the 400 meters to secure an individual spot in the state championships. Sophomores Briar Hachenberg and Nora Brenden took second place in the 800 and 1,500 respectively, and freshman Rachel Kintz took second place in the 3,000 to stamp their names among the qualified. The girls 4x400-meter relay team placed third and managed to qualify thanks to the efforts of Hachenberg, Kline, sophomore Alyse Williams and senior Kylee Rodriguez.
The Kennedy boys who will be heading to state include senior Grant Vogel, who placed second in the 300-meter hurdles, and the second place 4x400-meter relay team of junior Dakota Heard, junior Griffin Kilbourne, senior Stephan Salinas and junior Jesus Cortes Cortes.
The 2A OSAA state championships will be held at Hayward Field in Eugene from May 19-20.
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