Top-ranked Henley nips Baker
By GERRY STEELE
Baker has had enough of Henley in the Class 4A state softball playoffs.
For the second consecutive season, the Hornets eliminated Baker from the post-season. Friday, top-ranked Henley (25-3) edged the Bulldogs (18-8) 3-2 in a quarterfinal game at Henley.
Last season, Henley defeated the Bulldogs 5-0 while Baker was ranked No. 1 in the 4A polls.
“We had our chances,” said Baker coach Alan McCauley of Friday’s outcome.
“Even in the seventh, we had two on with two outs. We just couldn’t punch a run across.”
Baker actually had the bases loaded in the fourth and sixth innings, along with two on in the seventh. The Bulldogs managed just one run out of the thre situations.
“It was a great game. We had solid pitching and solid defense,” McCauley said.
The win was Henley’s 20th in a row. It was the Hornets’ first one-run win since May 4 when they edged Mazama 6-5. Henley had been winning its games by an average of 13 runs a game, including a 28-2 win over La Salle Prep in the first round of the playoffs.
Henley took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a pair of RBI singles.
Baker cut the deficit in half in the fourth.
With one out, Taylor McAdams reached base on an error. Baker then loaded the bases on back-to-back singles by Abi Smith and Danielle Freese. Stephanie Shepherd then grounded out to drive home the run.
Henley added a run in the bottom of the inning to regain a 3-1 edge.
Baker again answered in the fifth when Jessi Stephens slugged a solo home run.
In the sixth, Freese and Shepherd reached base with one out on back-to-back Henley errors. Tasha Nelson then loaded the bases with a bunt single. But then next two Bulldogs popped out to end the inning.
In the seventh, Darryn McCauley singled and two outs later Smith was hit by a pitch. But the next Bulldog popped out to first base to end the game.
McCauley and Stephens. Scott and Herr. WP — Scott. LP —McCauley.
Baker hits —Stephens 2, Smith, Freese, Nelson, McCauley. Baker RBI —Shepherd, Stephens.