St. Helens' loses league match to visiting Pioneers, but not before thrilling comeback in third, fourth
The St. Helens Lady Lions have been in every game they've played this season, and are starting to look like an upper division contender in the Northwest Oregon Conference.
Friday, the team showed their never-say-die attitude, coming from seven runs behind Sandy to take the lead in the bottom of the fourth. They fell behind again, but had the tying run on third when the last out of the 10-9 loss was made.
The game was the first league contest for the Lady Lions and against a team considered one of the favorites in the conference.
'We're playing pretty well right now,' St. Helens coach Jeff Edwards said of his young squad. 'We've had some tough opponents. We knew Sandy and Rex Putnam (Tuesday) was going to be a tough stretch.'
The coach pointed out in the end that St. Helens outhit Sandy 11-10. He credited Sandy with making some nice outfield line-drive catches that might have changed the outcome.
The Lady Lions got off to slow start, giving up two runs in the first inning and five in the third. A double, single, and a double accounted for the first two runs. A walk, wild pitch, stolen base, double, double, and a single and a couple of errors gave Sandy their 7-0 advantage.
It seemed all but over, and then St. Helens seemed to catch fire. A little pre-game drama in the dugout may have hampered their focus initially, but they shook that and came out firing.
Stevie Strawn led off with an infield single that glanced off the third basemen and headed out of bounds. After one out, Brooke Cathers walked and Mariah Mulcahy followed with an RBI single. Sue Sass then stepped up with a double for two RBIs. Abbie Hanson then singled to send Sass wheeling for home, and she moved to second on the throw. Kayla Beeler followed with a single to knock in Hanson.
There was still work to be done and St. Helens got to it in the bottom of the fourth.
Strawn started things again in the next inning, leading off with a bunt. Michelle Sass followed with a single, and an error at first advanced them to second and third. Mariah Mulcahy followed with a triple for two RBIs. Sue Sass followed with a single for her third RBI of the game.
Alas, St. Helens would make some defensive mistakes in the next inning and Sandy took the lead back with three more runs off a single, a double and two errors.
The Lady Lions would add a run in the ninth, but come up short. Mulcahy, 4-4 on the day, reached base with a single. Sue Sass walked. Mulcahy managed a delayed steal to third. She scored on a passed ball, and Sass was on third when the last out was made.
Mulcahy had two singles, a double and a triple, was on base four times, had two steals, three RBIs, and scored three times. Sass was two for three with a single and a double, on base three times and had three RBIs. Strawn was 2-3, and scored twice. Michelle Sass and Beeler each had a hit and an RB I. Hanson had a hit and two RBIs.
'I'm proud of the work ethic of this team,' Edwards said. 'It's better than any we've had in the past. They take pride in being a team being responsible. They're trying to do things the right way,' Edwards said
'We've got a good mix of players, some leaders and we're meshing well inside the lines. We've becoming a team. We've got some talent, too, and it's all becoming contagious,' he concluded.
The Lady Lions were at Putnam on Tuesday, host Scappoose in an endowment game on Wednesday, and host Wilsonville Friday. It's a big week.
Score by innings:
Sandy 10, St. Helens 9
Sandy 205 030 0-10 10 3
St. Helens 005 300 1-9 11 2
Sandy-Sammie Bryon and Rachel Rutledge;
St. Helens-Mariah Mulcahy and Michelle Sass.