ONTARIO - Mac-Hi's Greater Oregon League nemesis Ontario produced the game-winner in its last at bat here Friday to end Ma-Hi's 3A Oregon state softball run. The Tigers took a 7-6 quarterfinal win and will continue to Tuesday's semifinal round against Henley, a 5-0 quarterfinal winner over Baker.
A Kaila Hendon two-run bomb got the Tigers even with Mac-Hi at 4-4 after five innings. The Pioneers regained the lead with a run in the top of the sixth.
The Tigers came back and scored twice to grab their first lead of the game at 6-5 after six.
Mac-Hi answered. Allyssa Harrington reached on a Tiger error to start the Pioneer seventh.
Another Tiger error moved Harrington to second. Megan Reed stepped up and ripped her second hit of the game to drive Harrington home and tie the game at 6-6.
In the circle for Ontario, Jenny Yano worked out of the jam and the Pioneers stranded runners at second and third.
"Yano is one of the best pitchers in our conference," Mac-Hi coach Nicole Christian said. "We knew it would be a battle. We struggled to get people on and couldn't string hits together."
The Tigers had a leadoff single and a sacrifice bunt to move the winning run to second. The Pioneers mishandled a throw on a one-out grounder and the winning run came home.
"The error was tough after we worked so hard to tie it in the top of the seventh," Christian said. "We had three key errors (including the one in the seventh) that led to (Ontario) runs. We had an error in front of Hendon's two-run homer and another (that came around to score).
The Pioneers and Tigers staged a game that matched its state quarterfinal status. Mac-Hi led 3-0, the Tigers cut it to 3-2, the Pioneers answered to go up 4-2. Hendon's homer tied it at 4-4, but Mac-Hi got the lead back at 5-4 only to see the Tigers take a 6-5 lead to the seventh. The Pioneers tied it, but in the end, the homestanding Tigers had the last answer.
"It was the best game that I've coached in a long time," Christian said. "We went down trying. It was an exciting, awesome game that we were proud to be a part of."
Harrington had a solo home run for the Pioneers and Reed collected two hits to lead the Pioneer seven-hit attack.
Shawney Garcia, Harrington, Belen Betancourt, Brittney Hall, and Mariah McElrath capped their senior season with an 18-9 overall record.
"Those seniors were a huge part of the reason we made it this far," Christian said of the class of 2011. "Almost all will go on to play softball at the next level. It was my privilege to coach them for three years. They have brought great pride to the program. I thank them for the opportunity to coach them."
Ontario 7, Mac-Hi 6
Mac-Hi 111 101 1 - 6 7 3
Ontario 002 022 1 - 7 12 3
Erm and Kessler; Yano and Brockett.
HR - Mac-Hi: Harrington: Ont: Hendon.
Hits - Mac-Hi: Carrillo, Harrington, Reed 2, Kessler, Garcia, Odman; Ont: Brockett 2, Yano 2, Kai. Hendon 2, Kat. Hendon 2, Kiniskey, Montoya, Bourda, Lee.