Kessler shines in Pioneers' sweep

Cheyenne Kessler smacks nine hits and drives in eight runs as Mac-Hi picks up 10-0 and 25-0 softball wins over Taft Wednesday.

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MILTON-FREEWATER - Mac-Hi's junior softball catcher Cheyenne Kessler was behind the dish for a doubleheader shutout of the Taft Tigers Wednesday, and had nine hits to go with eight runs batted in, in the twin bill to lead her team to two victories - 10-0 in six innings and 25-0 in five frames.

Kessler had three singles and a double in game one. She knocked in two runs that game.

Kessler had two doubles and three singles in game two. She batted in six runs that game.

"Cheyenne was a beast today," Mac-Hi coach Nicole Christian said. "She did a great job behind the plate too. She put the ball in play with runners on and that is what we have been working on. Not so much hitting home runs, but getting runners on and making good contact."

Kessler caught every inning of the two shutouts of the Tigers, game one pitched by Kaitlin Erm and game two by Hailey Freske.

Erm lasted all six innings, striking out six, giving up two hits and walking two.

In the circle, Freske pitched all five innings and walked none while giving up four hits.

The Mac-Hi defense was also solid with no errors in the two games, compared to nine by the Tigers.

"Today, it was just about making the routine plays on defense and putting the ball into play on offense," Christian said. "Our team did an excellent job of that. We probably could have added some more runs in that second game. It is a difficult situation to be in - ahead by so many runs. We want to build our confidence, yet we don't want to be rude about it.

"It was all about getting our confidence back after only having five hits in our last doubleheader and losing both games to Banks, Ore., last weekend."

The Pioneers (3-2, 0-0 GOL) had contributions up and down the lineup from their substitutions and junior varsity players.

"Some of our subs and JV players came out and hit the ball solid for doubles and line drives," Christian said. "So, everybody today was making great contact."

Along with Kessler's outburst at the plate, third basemen Karli Cortez added six hits, two RBIs and two walks.

Off the bench, Mac-Hi had four different players get a hit and 14 players a base hit for the Pioneers.

In the first game, Mac-Hi was only up 5-0 going into the bottom of the fifth.

The Pioneers then closed the game with another five runs in the final two innings to enact the 10-run mercy rule.

The Pioneers started slow again in game two with two runs in the first inning. They then exploded for nine runs in the second and 10 in the third for a commanding 21-0 lead after three innings.

The Tigers didn't help themselves out much in the second inning, committing four errors.

Mac-Hi senior outfielder Jolene Brannan had two hits in the inning and scored a run.

In the third inning, Cortez had two singles with two RBIs. Kessler had a two-RBI double and an RBI-single in the rally. Megan Reed also doubled on a one-hopper to the fence early in the inning.

In the fourth inning, Mac-Hi added four runs on three RBI singles and an error that allowed another to score. The Tigers made two errors in that rally.

Mac-Hi plays again today at 5 p.m. against Yamhill-Carlton at home before competing in a home tournament Friday and Saturday with several of the state's top-ranked teams.

First game

Taft 000 000 - 0 2 1

Mac-Hi 230 032 - 10 9 0

Broderick, K. McCardell (5) and Mason. Erm and Kessler.

HR - none.

Hits - Taft: Stempel, Mason. Mac-Hi: Cortez 2, Kessler 4, Freske, Kimball, Odman.

Second game

Taft 000 00 - 0 4 7

Mac-Hi 29(10) 4x - 25 19 0

K. McCardell, Broderick (3), K. McCardell (3) and Mason. Freske and Kessler.

HR - none.

Hits - Taft: Ray, Stempel, Picard, Martin. Mac-Hi: Cortez 4, Kessler 5, Brannan 2, Carrillo, Kimball, Reed 2, Robert, Carter, Kralman, Woodall.

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