A loss in a win for Buff softball
It could be an expensive win for Madras softball.
The White Buffalos defeated Sisters 6-5 on Saturday in the Sisters tournament. In the final inning, junior catcher Danny Palmer left the game with a likely broken wrist.
Madras went on to beat Astoria 9-8 with a revised lineup. The Buffs went 2-2 in the Sisters tourney, losing twice to Central on Thursday. Madras also swept Ashland on Wednesday, March 28.
A return to Intermountain Conference play started Tuesday, April 3, at Bend (played after press time). The Buffs enter this week with a 1-0 league mark (7-4 overall). Madras then hosts Summit on Thursday.
When Madras returns to the field, Holly Martin will be the catcher, moving in from center field. She was the backup catcher this season, but stayed in the outfield thanks to Palmer's durability.
That changed when Palmer tried to handle a low throw on a play at home. The junior tried to reach across the plate to grab the ball when the Sisters runner fell across her wrist.
The preliminary diagnosis is a broken wrist with Palmer out for six weeks. She underwent further evaluations this week.
"Holly is now our catcher," Madras coach Shawna McConnell said. "She's real quick and smart."
In the outfield, Shirelle Adams moves from right to center.
"Both Holly and Shirelle have tremendous speed," McConnell said.
In right will be Hansina Martin, described as the team's "utility player" who has played at second base and in outfield. Madras is also awaiting the return of infielder Chrishana Johnson, out with a knee injury.
It was a contrast of results in the two days.
Madras fell twice to 4A Central who went unbeaten in the Sisters tourney (improving to 11-2). The Panthers won 8-3 and rallied for an 11-7 victory.
Central put the first game away with a combined five runs in the fifth and sixth innings. The Buffs jumped ahead 5-0 in the second game, helped by a three-run third. After two outs, Alysha Urbach hit a run-scoring single and Jessica Glaspie added a two-run single.
Central rallied with a seven-run fifth off reliever Sarah Leutwiler. The Panthers had six hits and were helped by two Madras errors. Leutwiler came in for Hansina Martin who was making her pitching debut this season.
"Hansina was getting tired," McConnell said. "We wanted to give Hansina a chance to pitch in a nonleague game, to give her some experience."
On Saturday, Madras jumped ahead of Sisters 4-0 and stayed ahead for the win. The Buffs then scored a run in the bottom of the seventh to beat Astoria.
Adams led the offense against Sisters with two doubles and a triple. The senior also scored three runs.
"Opposing teams see this short player and think she's a slap hitter," McConnell said. "Then she comes up and hits the ball hard. That's why she's in our leadoff spot."
Adams also ended the Astoria game with a run-scoring single. Earlier in the Astoria win, Leutwiler and Kara Katchia hit doubles.
"We brought our bats with us on Saturday," McConnell said. "We were more positive and enthusiastic on Saturday."
Madras 4-9, Ashland 3-5
The Buffs rallied to win the opener, scoring the tying run in the seventh when Holly Martin tripled and Whitley Ruiz singled. Madras then loaded the bases in the eighth with Palmer hitting the game-ending single.
The Buffs put away the second game with a combined seven runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Adams drilled a three-run double in the fourth. Katchia had three hits while Holly Martin added a two-run double in the second.
Marisa Hulsey won twice, scattering nine hits in both contests.