Indians win battle of unbeatens

Touchet hands Mac-Hi a 6-1 softball defeat to improve to 4-0, while the Pioneers take their first loss of the season.

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After fielding a ground ball, Touchet's Meghan Cantrell (right) tags Mac-Hi baserunner Bailey Humbert (center) before firing to first base to complete the double play Thursday.

MILTON-FREEWATER - Touchet catcher Cheyenne Kessler shined brightly under the Yantis Park lights here Thursday night during a non-conference softball battle of unbeatens.

Kessler socked four hits, including a two-run home run, to power the Indians to a 6-1 victory over Mac-Hi.

Touchet improved to 4-0 and dropped the Pioneers to 7-1.

The Indians used aces across the board in the opening inning to produce the game's first run. Touchet recorded one hit in the frame and were aided by a walk and the first of four Mac-Hi errors in the game.

"We talked to the girls about that," Mac-Hi coach Nicole Christian said afterward. "It's the first time this year that we didn't take care of that routine."

Touchet starting pitcher Nicole Brown, who tossed five innings of two-hit ball, helped her own cause in the third with a sacrifice fly that gave the Indians a 2-0 lead.

Mac-Hi cut that deficit in half in the last of the fourth inning. Belen Betancourt legged out an infield single with two out and Kalyn Odman followed with an RBI double.

Kessler provided some two-out magic of her own in the fifth inning with her two-run blast that left Touchet with a three-run cushion, 4-1. The long fly was a towering blast to straight-away center field.

"She has probably been our most steady player to this point," Touchet coach Gary Dorman said. "She doesn't get cheated very often. She's an intense competitor."

The Indians' Alex Sasser ended scoring for the night in the sixth when she lined a two-out, two-run single to center.

"That's what you've got to do to win games," Dorman said of the offensive success with two out.

Brown struck out five and walked four in notching the win. Mac-Hi hurlers Shawney Garcia and Kaitlin Erm combined to fan nine.

"I thought she threw an outstanding game," Dorman said of Brown. "She did a nice job of keeping the ball in front of everybody."

"We made contact, but didn't find the holes," Christian said. "You have to stay positive - build on the fact that you made contact."

Both teams are at home today. Touchet has a 2 p.m. doubleheader with defending Class 1B state champion Colton and Mac-Hi faces Yamhill-Carlton at 4 p.m.

Touchet 101 022 0 - 6 6 3

Mac-Hi 000 100 0 - 1 3 4

Brown, Reed (6) and C. Kessler. Garcia, Erm (4) and Harrington, Sams (4).

HR - Touchet, C. Kessler.

Hits - Touchet: C. Kessler 4, Weaver, Reed. Mac-Hi: Betancourt, Odman, Roeder.

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