|5/21/2013 1:46:00 PM|
Outlaws win 'play-in' game to qualify for state
|Maddie Edwards went 3-3 with RBI against Scapoose in a play-in game. photo by Jerry Baldock|
By Tom MauldinFor most of the season, Madison Edwards' big sister Cassidy has been getting all the well-deserved headlines, but in the Sisters High School varsity softball team's most important game of the season, it was the younger Edwards who went three-for-three and drove in a run to lead the Outlaws to a 7-5 win over Scappoose.
By winning their play-in game, the 18-6 Outlaws qualified for the 4A state softball tournament. By beating the Cowapa League's No. 3 team, SHS travels to 19-5 Molallaon Wednesday. It marks the fourth time in SHS softball annals that the Outlaws have qualified for state.
In beating Scappoose (12-13 and rated No. 18 in the Oregon Schools Activities Association Poll), the Outlaws managed eight hits, three by Madison Edwards, two by Lauren Cantwell and a two-run base hit by Harley Rowe.
Cassidy Edwards also held up the family name as she won her 18th game of the season, scattering 10 hits and pitching out of trouble when necessary.
"The energy was great for this (Scappoose) game," said Outlaws Coach Ben Miller. "I was concerned that attitudes were down and maybe some girls were done (for the season), but these girls made me proud. They played hard and proved they are in it to win it."
Molalla won the Tri-Valley League with a 13-2 record and is rated No. 3 by OSAA. The Outlaws are rated No. 13. Molalla is 10-1 at home, where Wednesday's first-round game will be played. Should the Outlaws win out, the remainder of their playoff games will be on the road. The 4A state championship game will be held at Oregon State University on June 1.
By winning the Tri-Valley, Molalla did not need a play-in game. The Outlaws finished second in the Sky-Em league.
Molalla and Sisters have two common foes in Madras and Sweet Home. The Outlaws won two of three from Sky-Em League rival Sweet Home (losing 7-5 and winning 7-0 and 4-3) and split with Tri-Valley League Madras (losing 7-6 and winning 5-3). Molalla beat Sweet Home (5-2) and Madras three times (8-6, 7-4 and 3-1).
"We are in the playoffs, and if we keep this energy as a team and perform like we did against Scappoose, or even as well as I know these girls can, then we could make a good run in the playoffs," said Miller, who noted Scappoose "came to play and showed great competitive effort and spirit."
He continued, "We were fortunate to get a jump, stay on top and make key plays when we needed to. This put a fire in the team and I think the tone has been set for the Outlaws."
Wednesday's SHS-MHS winner will hit the road to play the winner of the first-round matchaup between Stayton and McGloughlin (Milton-Freewater) on Friday, May 24.
Sky-Em League champion Elmira hosts Phoenix, and Sweet Home travels to Henley.
Other first-round 4A match-ups include Central (Independence) at Gladstone, La Grande at Newport, North Marion at Banks and Sutherlin hosting Yamhill-Cartlon (a 10-0 winner over Ridgeview of Redmond).
Madison Edwards also had a pair of base hits as the Outlaws lost 2-1 to Ridgeview early last week in a post-season tune-up game.
Cassidy Edwards added two hits against Ridgeview, a first-year school playing without a senior enrollment. Ridgeview was led by Shawna Marshall, Hannah George and Erin Ware. Though the Ravens managed just three hits, two were run-scoring singles.
Cassidy Edwards will carry a team-high .557 batting average into Wednesday's first-round game with Molalla. Four of her teammates are also hitting .300 or better - sophomore Ashley Smith (.340), and seniors Taylor Nieri (.333), Cantwell (.325) and Rowe (.302). As a team, the Outlaws are batting .300.
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