With a top ten ranking, the Taft softball team was likely in the state tournament regardless of the outcome of last week’s district playoff game. But for good measure, the Lady Tigers once again dominated the Warrenton Warriors.
Similarly to the baseball game, the Taft girls did most of their damage in one single inning. After holding a 1-0 advantage going into the third, the Tigers rattled off six runs in the inning and three in the following inning to put them up by double digits.
With Taft ace Emma Coulter in the circle, the Warriors had no chance and she pitched a complete five inning game with nine strikeouts and no earned runs. Taft took a 10-0 victory.
“It was a good game for us,” head coach Sandy Stuart said. “We were relaxed and hit the ball well. We made plays that we needed to make and Emma Coulter pitched very well. We were also able to honor our lone senior on our roster, Caitlyn Rundstrom for senior night.”
Offensively, Kayla Lininger had three hits, three RBI’s and scored two runs in the game. Coulter also had a pair of hits and she, Claira Tolan and Kyla Knott all scored twice for Taft.
While the boys will be on a five plus hour bus ride to Irrigon Wednesday, the Lady Tigers have the luxury of hosting their first round playoff game when they welcome Vale to Lincoln City. Vale High School is located on the complete opposite side of the state, near the Oregon-Idaho border, so this matchup is a rarity for the two schools.
"Being so far away, we don’t know much about them," Stuart said. "They beat all the teams in their league but fell short during league playoffs, which sent them our way. We are expecting average pitching just like we experienced last year when we traveled to Echo/Stanfield for the first round."
Stuart says the game plan for the Tigers won't change just because they are playing on an elevated stage.
"Ultimately, we are just focused on playing level-headed good softball," Stuart said. "We want to be aggressive on offense and stay loose on defense. We are excited to get started!"
The game is scheduled for 5 p.m. at Taft High School.