Two-out rally lifts MHS softball into quarterfinals

Moe strikes out nine
Madras used a good old fashion two-out rally Wednesday to advance to the OSAA Class 4A softball quarterfinals for the second consecutive season.
   The White Buffalos rallied for three runs on six hits in the top of the eighth inning and rode another superb pitching effort of Jamie Moe to score a 3-0 victory at Phoenix during an opening round game.
   "The girls had their rally caps on and were up cheering hard for one another," MHS head coach Shawna McConnell said. "This game was a well-played battle and our girls made the adjustments necessary to get the win."
   Madras (19-8) will play at Cascade (22-4), who defeated Sweet Home 4-0 in the opening round, May 25 in the quarterfinals. Game time will be announced later today.
   In the eighth inning with two outs and a scoreless game, Madras had six consecutive hits highlighted by RBI singles from Sarah Brown Shelby Mauritson, and Raylene Jones.
   "They threw a really good pitcher that had good speed, but our girls finally caught up to her," McConnell said of her time that struck out 11 times.
   With a 3-0 lead, Moe retired the side in the bottom half of the eighth inning to cap consecutive scoreless playoff pitching victories.
   "Jamie was amazing," McConnell said. "She gave a tremendous effort."
   Moe fanned nine batters, allowed four hits and walked two.
   "Her curve ball was working really well and she basically dominated the game," said McConnell of Moe, who has tossed 13 consecutive scoreless innings in post-season play this year.
   Natalie Martin, who started a string of six straight hits in the eighth inning, finished two or three with a double and a stolen base. Brown finished two for four, and Mauritson, Jones, Cheyenne Parsons, Caitlin Hulsey and Inez Jones each went one for four.
   Cascade, who on the 4A state championship last year, finished second in the Oregon West Conference this season behind Central. Madras won the Tri-Valley Conference for the second consecutive season.
   "This is what softball is all about, to be in this position in late May," McConnell said. "We're looking at Cascade as just another softball game. If our girls play their game, I think they can beat anyone in the state"
   Madras lost 1-0 to Central in last year's quarterfinals.
   "I don't think a lot of people believed that we could be in the quarterfinals, after losing all the players we did to graduation, but this group just keeps proving people wrong," McConnell said. "I'm super excited for this group of girls."