File photo by RJ Chavez
HRV softball traveled to Eugene to face the Marist Catholic Spartans in the second round of the OSAA Softball State Championships. The Eagles had cut the Spartans lead to 3-2 after a two-run home run by Hannah McNerney (pictured) in the top of the fourth, but a stretch of three scoreless innings followed and HRV went on to lose by a final score of 3-2 to the Spartans. McNerney was one of only two HRV hitters to tally in a hit; the other was Haylee Baker.
As of Tuesday, May 29, 2018
For the second season in a row, the HRV softball team was unable to get past the quarterfinals round of the OSAA Softball State Championships.
On May 25, HRV traveled to Eugene to face the number four ranked Marist Catholic Spartans; the winner of which would get a shot at the number one seed Pendleton Buckaroos in the semifinals.
There’s not one other team in the state that wanted to see Pendleton in the playoffs more than HRV, considering the two schools’ history.
Last year, HRV fell to Pendleton in the quarterfinals round of the state playoffs by a final score of 4-2 and this year were swept by the Buckaroos in conference play. The Eagles’ semifinals hope in this year’s playoffs was their last shot at redemption.
But first, the Eagles had to get past a tough Spartans team.
Marist Catholic headed into the matchup on a nine game-winning streak and with a 26-3 overall record.
Early on, both sides had trouble knocking in runners, and after two innings of play, the score was still knotted up at 0-0.
The scoreless stretch of innings continued for HRV in the third, while Marist Catholic took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the third after an RBI triple and two-run home run in the inning.
However, the lead for Marist Catholic wouldn’t last long as Hannah McNerney hit a two-run home run in the top of the fourth to cut the Spartans lead to one; 3-2 Marist Catholic.
Marist Catholic had no response for the Eagles’ two-run inning in the fourth and HRV’s defense held the Spartans scoreless to close-out the inning.
But after the McNerney home run, Marist Catholic also held HRV scoreless in the final three innings of the game to secure the 3-2 victory over HRV, moving the Spartans to the semifinals of the OSAA Softball State Championships.
At the end of the day, the Eagles came up short of advancing to the semifinals for the second-straight year because of its lack of offense versus the Spartans.
HRV only had two hits in the quarterfinals matchup, compared to Marist Catholic’s six.
Haylee Baker and McNerney each had one of the two hits versus the Spartans.
Outside of the one error suffered, the defense for HRV is what kept them within striking distance throughout the game.
The Eagles were up against a Marist Catholic offense that had scored 20-plus runs four different times this season, including 25-runs in a game versus Springfield in April.
With that being said, HRV’s ability to hold Marist Catholic’s offense to five scoreless innings was a huge accomplishment for the girls, and had to have been a point of emphasis heading into the matchup.
But again, the Eagles inability to get anything going in the batter’s box ultimately cost them a shot at Pendleton in the semifinals.
McNerney picked up the loss on the mound against Marist Catholic. She lasted six innings, allowing six hits and three runs, while strikeout out four.
HRV ended its season with a 20-9 overall record and a ranking of fifth in the final OSAA 5A standings.