BANDON — Reedsport’s softball team entered Friday’s Sunset Conference game in Bandon on a slump. The Brave had lost six in a row, including their first two league games, and hadn’t scored more than four runs in any of those setbacks.
Reedsport turned things around with one big inning Friday, using a six-run second inning to spark a 9-4 win over the Tigers in a game that had been moved to Bandon because of unplayable field conditions at Reedsport’s waterlogged facility.
“To have this win is amazing,” said Reedsport’s Erin Sharp. “It’s definitely a confidence builder for the team.”
The Brave can thank the big second inning for sparking Reedsport’s first league win.
After both teams went down in order in the first inning, Reedsport started the second with back-to-back walks by Aubree Rohde and Ilene Glover and a single just over Bandon’s third baseman by Makenzie Seeley.
After Bandon’s Avery Pounder recorded the first out with a strikeout, she walked Emily Brown, forcing in Reedsport’s first run. No. 9 hitter Kendalynn Bond then hit a two-run single.
Yesenia Velazquez followed with an RBI groundout and Erin Sharp and Jordan Priest had back-to-back RBI singles, with Sharp scoring the final run after advancing to second and third on wild pitches before Priest’s single.
“Today was definitely a lot better,” Sharp said. “We all kept our attitudes up. We were smart on the bases and we were hitting.”
Reedsport finished with eight hits and other balls that put pressure on the Tigers’ defense.
The Brave got single runs in the fifth and sixth innings without a base hit. An error on a ball hit by Glover led to the first and bad decisions by fielders on grounders contributed to both. Nicole Cooper drove in Glover on a fielder’s choice in the fifth. Rohde brought in Sharp in the sixth on a ground out to Pounder.
Reedsport added a more conventional run in the seventh when Seeley got her third hit with a leadoff single, stole second and third and scored on a grounder to first by Brown.
Those insurance runs gave Seeley plenty of support on a day when she was efficient in the circle for Reedsport.
Unlike Pounder, she never walked a batter and only gave up one free pass, on a hit batter. She had five strikeouts and let her defense do most of the work.
“I feel like I did very well,” Seeley said. “I hit my corners and was working my change-up game.”
Bandon coach Brandon Gallagher said Seeley did a good job keeping his hitters off balance, especially with that change-up.
“I don’t know what’s going on with our hitting,” Gallagher said. “We’re working and working on it.”
The Tigers had seven hits in the game, but only strung them together in one inning.
After Reedsport scored its six runs in the top of the second, the Tigers started the bottom half with a sharp single by Dedra Foster and an infield single by Pounder. Foster came home on a throwing error and Pounder scored on a double to left by Kadence Teel.
The Tigers didn’t have multiple hits in any other innings. They got a run in the third when Traylin Arana reached on an error and scored on a sacrifice fly by Naomi Martin.
The other run came in the sixth when Foster singled and Pounder was hit by the pitch. Bella Erenfeld reached on an error and Foster hustled around to score.
But what could have been a bigger inning for Bandon wasn’t because Sharp made a heads-up play to tag Pounder out at third on a grounder by Teel and then Velazquez snagged a line drive by Trinitie Long-Hindman and doubled up Teel at first for the final out of the inning.
While Bandon’s defense made a few bad decisions in the field, the Brave didn’t. Though Reedsport committed four errors, the defense backed Seeley up well most of the game.
“I give them all the credit,” Gallagher said. “They played great.”
Reedsport improved to 1-2 in league play and Bandon fell to 2-2 heading into a home game against Siletz Valley on Tuesday. Reedsport, which hasn’t made up its opener against Siletz Valley that was postponed by rain, has a nonleague game at Glide on Monday and hosts Coquille in a league game Tuesday, now riding some momentum.
“I think getting the first league win was important,” Seeley said, adding Reedsport was frustrated with its first two league losses after reaching the playoffs last year.
With the league getting three playoff spots this year, every win for both teams will be valuable.
“We’ve got to get the momentum going again and turn it around,” Gallagher said. “If we want to get to the top by the end of the year, they’ve got to get it put together and we do as coaches, too.
“As coaches, we’ve got to work harder to get them ready.”