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MHC SOFTBALL: Mikayla Buffington's sacrifice fly in the eighth provides the winning run

PMG PHOTO: DAVID BALL - Reynolds infielder Vanessa Smoke (5) is congratulated by teammates after getting the third out in an inning during the teams 8-7 win in Sandy on Friday.



6A SOFTBALL
Mount Hood Conference

Team Score
Reynolds Raiders
8
Sandy Pioneers (8 innings)
7


SANDY — The Reynolds softball team remained unbeaten, but would have to put in some unexpected extra work to collect win No. 13 Friday night at Sandy High.

The Raiders took a 7-0 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning. Sandy connected for a pair of singles early in the inning, but a pair of Hailey Burmeister strikeouts had Reynolds one out away from its fifth shutout of the season.

Sandy spoiled those plans when No. 1 hitter Katie Bruner found a hole in right field for an RBI-single.

The proved to be only the first trickle.

Gentry Turin knocked another run-scoring hit to center field, and Alejandra Ortega survived a fly ball that popped out of a Raider's glove, prompting Reynolds to hold a conference in the pitcher's circle.

Sandy kept the rally going with Brooklyn Adams blasting a two-run double into the left-field corner, cutting the Raiders' lead to 7-5 and bringing the tying run to the plate.

Sam Brewster charged up the home crowd and had her teammates flooding out of the dugout after sending a two-strike homer over the right-field fence to tie the game.

"That was really crazy," Brewster said. "The first couple people started hitting, and it was an eye opener for us. We just kept battling."

A strikeout finally ended the rally.

"We got a little complacent, thinking that we were fine with a seven-run lead," Reynolds outfielder Megan Convery said. "We learned that we can't take any game easy. We have to compete to the last out."

PMG PHOTO: DAVID BALL - Reynolds Hailey Burmeister slides in safely with the first run of the game in the third inning.

The Raiders got the lead back in the eighth when Convery drew a walk and moved around to third base on singles by Kayley King and Vanessa Smoke. Mikayla Buffington punched Convery in with the winning run after hitting a sacrifice fly that backed Bruner up to the center-field fence.

"The most important thing was to score the run, so I went in there with the goal of just moving people around," Buffington said.

The most dramatic play of the game came next when a line drive was drilled directly at Sandy pitcher Maya Lemus, whose glove only made it waist-high when the ball collided with her face. Adams scooped up the loose ball to get the third out, and Sandy trainer Joe Givens rushed to the circle to tend to Lemus who laid flat on her back.

Paramedics were quick to arrive at the field, taking the Sandy pitcher to the hospital for further treatment.

"The No. 1 thing is always the safety of the player," Sandy coach Kayla Anderson said. "Maya is tough as nails, but it's always hard to see a friend on the ground like that."

After about a 20-minute delay, Sandy picked up the bats for its final turn at the plate.

Adia Messenger gloved a two-hopper and beat the lead-off hitter to first base, Convery moved in a couple steps to snag a fly ball in center and Burmeister came up with her sixth strikeout to secure the victory.

The Raiders improved to 13-0 on the season and are No. 3 in the OSAA rankings.

"We wanted to make sure we got this win," Convery said. "We have a big streak going, and we didn't want to lose it."

Reynolds opened the scoring in the third inning when King popped an RBI-single into shallow left field, allowing Burmeister to slide home just ahead of the throw.

The Raiders grew their lead to 7-0 In the seventh after putting their first four hitters on base. Messenger highlighted the rally with a two-run double that bounced into the center-field fence.

Sandy stranded six runners in the early stages of play with Smoke tracking down an over-the-shoulder catch in the green turf in the first inning, then making a similar catch for a double play that ended the fourth.

"It's just getting a quick drop step and running as fast as I can," Smoke said. "I knew when I got the ball exactly what I was going to do with it."


View photos at ...

https://davidball.smugmug.com/2019-Prep-Spring-Sports/Prep-Softball/April-12-Reynolds-vs-Sandy/


This story is slated for our Tuesday, April 16, print edition.


— - MHC baseball & softball


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