Valiants battle into quarterfinals before falling short
Valley Catholic makes another strong postseason run to cap its 2011 season
It wasn't all easy wins and accolades for the Valley Catholic softball team this year.
The Valiants, dealing with a revamped roster, a new coaching staff and an abnormally wet season filled with rainouts and rescheduled games, went just 7-5 in league play and tied for third place.
But the Valiants, a Class 3A power for much of the past decade, showed they still had what it takes down the 2011 home stretch.
Valley Catholic strung together four straight wins at the end of the Lewis and Clark League season, the rebounded from a league-playoff loss by beating Pleasant Hill in the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs, then falling 5-1 to Glide in Friday's state quarterfinals.
"Despite the disappointment of losing (to Glide), we're excited to say that we were able to go deeper into the tournament than we did a year ago," said Valley Catholic coach Jauna Williams. And "some of our younger players stepped up to earn some solid playing time, which is essential to our future success."
Valley Catholic 8, Pleasant Hill 0
PLEASANT HILL - Just getting their game played against Pleasant Hill might have been the toughest part of VC's first-round state playoff win.
Originally scheduled for May 25, the game was rescheduled for May 26 due to wet field conditions, but once VC hit the field, the Valiants showed they were more than ready.
Senior Kindra Mills pitched a complete game in the win, scattering four hits and striking out six. Mills also had a huge day at the plate, going 4-for-4 with two doubles, a triple and one RBI.
"The game against Pleasant Hill was exceptional, once we were actually able to play," Williams said.
Sophomore shortstop Chelsea Alsdorf went 1-4 with a two-run double, and added another RBI in her final at-bat.
"We won that game with key hits as well as taking advantage of several Pleasant Hill errors," Williams added.
The loss ended Pleasant Hill's season at 17-7 after finishing second in the Pac West Conference.
Glide 5, Valley Catholic 1
GLIDE - After playing Pleasant Hill (located south of Eugene) a day earlier, the Valiants just kept the bus headed south and rolled into Glide to face the unbeaten Sunset League champion Wildcats.
And Glide proved itself worthy of the No. 2 position in the OSAA's state-wide power rankings, banging out nine hits (including two home runs) to fueled its 5-1 victory.
"They just saw and hit the ball well," Williams said. "We weren't able to get our bats going and left a several runners stranded. They earned the win."
The Valiants will graduate just Mills and senior star catcher Hana Wright from this year's team.