Tuesday afternoon wasn’t your typical day for college softball, as the Saints took on the Southwestern Oregon Lakers in a scheduled doubleheader: Mt. Hood won the first game, 20-18, in a crazy shootout that lasted over three hours, and due to its length, the two sides were unable to finish Game Two as daylight turned to dusk.
In Game One, starting pitcher Sammie Byron took the mound. Despite picking up the victory it wasn’t her best start: She allowed 10 earned runs in three and two-thirds innings of work. Fortunately, the Saints scored nine runs in the second inning, to add to the two they scored in the first, giving them an 11-2 lead.
The third inning is when Byron appeared to lose control as the Lakers tallied four runs. The Saints responded in the bottom half of the inning, scoring two more runs of their own. She took the mound again in the fourth and Southwestern’s bats stayed quite alive, adding another five runs before the Saints had to pull her. Her ERA is now 5.56 on the season and her record is 5-7.
After the game Byron said, “I felt good on the mound. My spins were working well; they are just a very good hitting team. They are disciplined and when they make contact, they hit it hard. That’s probably the toughest-hitting team we have faced.”
Leading only 13-11 at that point, the Saints once again responded to the Lakers’ big inning with one themselves, scoring five runs in the bottom of the fourth. Shortstop Makiah Johnson brought in three of those with a three-run home run. She would finish the game 4 for 5 with four RBIs, bringing her to a .400 batting average on the season.
Yet again, in the top of the fifth, Southwestern made another push to come back, scoring three runs. Mt. Hood scored two more in the bottom of the fifth to extend their lead to six, 20-14. In the final two innings the Lakers were able to put four more runs on the board, but it wasn’t enough.
In the end, both teams had huge offensive games with Southwestern (10-3 in the South Region, 20-6 overall) slamming six home runs and Mt. Hood (4-8 in the South, 12-11 overall) three. The Saints won despite getting just 14 hits, compared to the Lakers’ 25.
After the game Byron reflected on her feelings on the three-hour, 24-minute game.
“Each inning dragged on because we were both just going back and fourth,” she said. “Each inning felt like it took so long. That was probably the longest game I’ve played in.”
As a result, the second game was suspended. The two teams got through four innings of play with the Saints trailing, 8-0. The rest of the game will be played May 12, when Mt. Hood plays Southwestern in a doubleheader, this time in Coos Bay. The suspended game will pick up in the fifth inning.
Next up on the Saints’ schedule, however, is rival Clackamas Community College. Mt. Hood and the Cougars will play two on Saturday at home, starting at noon.