Pioneers pick up softball sweeps of Willamina

Mac-Hi tops defending 3A state champs Willamina 6-0 and 8-2 for the sweep.



Mac-Hi's Belen Betancourt, front, gets back-up from Brittney Hall on a Willamina ball hit just over second base.


Belan Betancourt crashes into Willamina catcher Meagan Davis for the fifth inning score to give the Pioneers a 5-0 lead Wednesday morning.


Mac-Hi pitcher Kaitlin Erm takes the short bunt and, with calm, hair-raising focus, fires the out to first base during the Pioneer's Wednesday morning win over Willamina in Milton-Freewater.


Mac-Hi's Alyssa Harrington shares a round of happy high-fives with the rest of the Pioneers as Mac-Hi downs Willamina Wednesday morning in Milton-Freewater.


Mac-Hi's Megan Reed lines up the line drive from Willamina for the third inning out Wednesday morning in Milton-Freewater.


Mac-Hi's Megan Reed taps her foot to the bag and gets the force out at second on Willamina's Kaydi Milton then makes the read to first on the potential double and holds the ball in the opener.

MILTON-FREEWATER — Mac-Hi swept away Oregon’s reigning 3A champions in a doubleheader Wednesday afternoon.

The Pioneers defeated Willamina’s Bulldogs, 6-0 and 8-2, behind a complete-game efforts by Kaitlin Erm and Shawney Garcia.

Erm pitched a shutout in game one, striking out four and turning one of the two Mac-Hi double plays in the game.

The Pioneers couldn’t get anything going on offense until the bottom of the third.

Brittney Hall singled hard between third and shortstop to lead off the inning. Two outs later, Belen Betancourt walked and then Karli Cortez lined the 1-0 pitch into deep left field, hopping the fence for a two-run double.

"Karli swung some for us last year," Mac-Hi coach Nicole Christian said. "Now she is on varsity full-time and she is a great hitter with power that makes good contact. It is going to be too see her hit and have her with us all year."

Bulldog pitcher Kaydi Milton lasted through the end of the fifth, notching seven strikeouts to go with two walks and two runs scored.

In top of the fifth, Erm escaped trouble once again. Two Mac-Hi errors and a fielders choice set up runners on the corners with one out.

A bunt by Nina Umfrid turned into a 1-2-3 double play, squelching the rally.

With Shenk on the mound in the bottom of the fifth, the patient Pioneers coaxed four walks and got one hit in scoring four runs.

"We are doing really well on pitch selection, especially for this early in the season," Christian said. "Sometimes it hurts us looking at good strikes but when you can walk home some runners, it is worth it."

After five innings, it was 6-0 Pioneers and it would stay that way for the rest of the game.

The shutout by Erm was more than the Pioneers could have asked for, Christian said.

"Kaitlin did really well for us," Christian said. "It was her first showing of the season and she struggled her way out of some tough spots. Our defense did excellent for us."

Kayln Odman had a double and Cheyenne Kessler singled to total the Pioneers’ four hits in the game.

Garcia took over the circle for the nightcap, striking out seven. She gave up two unearned runs in the seventh, allowing Willamina on the board.

"Shawney pitched well. She was in there against a whole lot of lefties and we don’t normally see that," Christian said. "We had some key errors that cost us and if we had made the routine plays, we would have had a second shutout on the day. But she stepped up and finished the game for us."

The Pioneers rattled the bats in game two to the tune of nine hits and eight runs.

Left fielder Kariss Carillo led the scoring attack, making three hits in her only start of the day as leadoff hitter.

Carillo opened scoring in the bottom of the first, with a line-drive single to left, then stealing two bases.

The Pioneers were up 3-0 when Reed moved up on a a stolen base and wild pitch.

Two Pioneers followed with outs, one a sacrifice fly by Odman to make it 4-0.

The Pioneers struck again in the third inning with a single run. Garcia doubled and Odman singled her for her second RBI of the game.

The bottom of fourth saw Mac-Hi score two more runs. Mariah McElrath walked, Carillo had a bunt single, McElrath stole, Carillo advanced on defensive indifference and Reed singled to right to score two runs, to make the score 7-0.

Mac-Hi got its eighth and final run in the fifth inning, when Kessler reached on a throwing error, stole second and Odman singled her to third. Kessler scored on an RBI groundout by Erm to the Willamina second baseman.

Mac-Hi followed that with a brief lapse in defense to allow Willamina’s two unearned runs.

The Bulldogs plated a runner that reached on a Pioneer throwing error with a double off the bat of Gecy Bowman in the seventh.

Bowman reached third on a wild pitch and stole home on a throw by Kessler, the Pioneer catcher, to second, on a fake steal by Umfrid, who walked previously.

The late miscues wouldn’t cost the Pioneers the game, which they notched as another 8-2 win.

"We spent a lot of time on defense in the off-season and the girls did a really good job in the field today for the most part," Christian said. "All of the hard work is starting to pay off a little."

The doubleheader sweep moves Mac-Hi to 3-1 on the softball season. They host Yamhill-Carlton at 5 p.m. today.

Game one

Willamina 000 0 — 0 6 2

Mac-Hi 002 040 x — 6 4 2

Milton, Shenk (5) and Davis. Erm and Kessler.

HR — none.

Hits — Will: Umfrid, Bowman, G. 2, Shenk 2, Steere. Mac: Hall, Cortez, Odman, Kessler.

Game two

Willamina 000 000 2 — 2 7 1

Mac-Hi 401 210 X — 8 9 2

Shenk, Coblentz (3) and Davis. Garcia and Kessler.

HR — none.

Hits — Will: Steere, Shenk, Bowman, G. 2, Umfrid, Davis, Bowman, S. Mac: Carillo 3, Crewse, Cortez, Reed, Odman 2, Garcia.


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