By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
The McNary High School varsity softball team racked up 56 runs and allowed just seven in three games last week.
Sprague, McKay and North Salem high schools were victims of the Lady Celts’ offensive onslaught, but it wasn’t enough to carry the team to victory over the league-leading South Salem Saxons Monday, May 5.
The Celts lost to the Saxons for the third time this season, 11-4. The good news for McNary was the team more than doubled its hits over the team’s last contest.
“For us, the big games this week are West Salem and Sprague,” said Kevin Wise, McNary head coach. “Those games will have a lot more impact on where we finish in the league.”
The Titans and Olys were tied for second in the Central Valley Conference. McNary was a game behind them with the loss to South, but the team has the second-highest power ranking in the league.
A 12-0 win over Sprague Monday, April 28 was the Keizer team’s first victory of last week (covered in last week’s Keizertimes). The second-place Olys eked out a 13-12 win in the teams’ first contest earlier in the season.
“The girls wanted a little bit of revenge, but it was the pitching and defense that came along and kept the game out of reach,” Wise said. “After that, it just steamrolled.”
McNary cruised to a 23-0 win over McKay High School Tuesday, April 29. The Celtics put together back-to-back, nine-run innings in the first and second and Madi Oliver pitched a two-hitter throwing 12 first-pitch strikes against 17 batters.
In the first inning, Kimi Ito was the first to score on a ground out by Oliver. Villarreal doubled to left field scoring Dani Saunders. Ulrey turned a double into a triple on a fielding mishap and plated Kailey Fritts, who was running for Villarreal. Hannah Carr singled to score Ulrey. Another single by Ito scored Jordyn Tutor and Kinsey McNaught. Saunders tripled to score Ito and Oliver.
Carr, Ulrey and Ito ended the game with four RBIs each. Ito went 4 for 5 with two doubles. Oliver went 3 for 4 with a double.
The North Salem Vikings put up the biggest fight of McNary’s opponents. The Lady Celts’ lead was shaved to 4-1 in the bottom of the third, but a seven-run fifth inning put ample breathing room between the two teams.