MILTON-FREEWATER - The Mac-Hi Pioneers softball team slayed the Marshall Minutemen, 21-0, in five innings in an Oregon Class 4A state play-in game here Friday.
"Never in the playoffs had I ever been a part of a 21-0 game before today," Mac-Hi coach Nicole Christian said. "I did get down to Portland to scout Marshall before the game a little bit, so were able to prepare for them. But you never know with the slower pitching of Marshall, if our hitters will make the adjustment or not. But they definitely did that today."
Mac-Hi shortstop Megan Reed led the charge with two home runs, three hits and six RBI.
"Megan hit one deep opposite field, which is hard to do at any level," Christian said. "Then, she blasts one center field with runners on. She did exactly what we needed her to do today in the four hole. She got six RBI and two home runs. It was awesome for us."
The Pioneers did all of their damage in the first three innings. Mac-Hi scored five runs in the first inning, 10 in the second and six in third.
Mac-Hi had 12 hits and 11 walks on offense. The Minutemen defense did give up eight errors.
There were contributions up and down the Mac-Hi line up: second baseman Shawney Garcia had three hits and three RBI; Karli Cortez added two singles and an RBI; Cheyenne Kessler had two walks and a double.
Belen Betancourt and Kayln Odman each had three walks, one each of the bases-loaded variety and an RBI; Brittney Hall had two RBI on a bases-loaded walk and bases-loaded hit-by-pitch.
Off the bench, Jolene Brannan had a double; Meghan Kimball had two walks; and Mariah McElrath had an RBI-single.
In the bottom of the first, Mac-Hi's Kariss Carillo led off with a line-drive single to left field. Alyssa Harrington reached on a fielding error, and the runners moved up to second and third base when a second error on the Harrington ground ball to second occurred. The second baseman bobbled it and then threw it away at first base.
With two runners in scoring position, Reed singled them both in and moved up on the throw to the plate. Kessler walked and Garcia singled home Reed, moving Kessler to third. Kessler scored on a wild pitch. Odman and Betancourt followed with walks to load the bases. Hall grounded out to score a run, and the third out followed another Mac-Hi walk.
In the bottom of the second, Cortez had a lead-off single. Reed reached on an error and Kessler walked to load the bases. Garcia laid down a perfect bunt to the right side to reach safely with a single and RBI.
Odman and Betancourt followed with bases-loaded walks to score two more. Hall forced in a run with a hit-by-pitch. Carillo lined out to shortstop and then the Minutemen threw the ball away attempting to double a runner off base. That error allowed two runs to score.
Harrington followed with a groundout-RBI. Then, Brianna Crewse walked in front of Reed's first home run of the game.
Kessler reached on a two-base error and Garcia singled her in to score. That concluded the inning that brought 14 Pioneers to the plate and 10 of them scoring.
The bottom of the third inning started with a Betancourt walk. Hall reached on a fielder's choice when Betancourt was tagged out on the Hall grounder to shortstop. A strikeout followed and then Mac-Hi's two-out rally began.
Brannan doubled a run in and advanced to third on a throwing error on the relay from the outfield. Cortez singled home Brannan, and Reed homered again. Kessler knocked a grounder down the third-base line for a double.
Kimball and Odman walked. Betancourt hit a hard grounder off the pitcher for an infield single and RBI.
And McElrath singled in the final run before the third out was recorded.
Marshall ran out three pitchers to the circle in the four Mac-Hi at-bats. The first pitcher, Alexia Graham,lasted into the third inning and was charged with the first 20 runs. The next Minutemen pitcher,
Jazzmine Alcala, pitched the rest of the third inning and gave one more run.
To her credit, Sarah Edwards pitched a scoreless fourth inning against Mac-Hi for Marshall.
In the circle for Mac-Hi was Kaitlin Erm, who recorded a five-inning shutout with seven strikeouts, while giving up only two hits and two walks.
"Erm is really doing good right now," Christian said. "She is in a groove. She is one of our pitchers that got first-team all-league. She really did well today and we are going to continue to use her. We will ride her out.
"Erm hit all of her spots today and all that good stuff. So that was nice to see."
Mac-Hi will play again next Wednesday. It is likely that they will be at home as the top eight teams get a first-round state playoff game at home. The Pioneers were ranked eighth before the game.
The Pioneers are now in the final 16-team state playoff bracket, which is single elimination.
Mac-Hi 21, Marshall 0
Marshall 000 00 - 0 2 8
Mac-Hi 5(10)6 0x - 21 12 0
Erm and Kessler. Graham, Alcala (3), Edwards (4) and McGrath.
HR - Mac-Hi: Reed 2.
Hits - Marshall: N. Hoang, Shields. Mac-Hi: Reed 3, Garcia 3, Cortez 2, Carillo, Kessler, Brannan,