CORVALLIS - Led by Karman Holladay's 17 strikeouts, Corvallis beat Pendleton 2-0 Tuesday afternoon in round 2 of the OSAA Class 5A State Championships.
Corvallis, of the Mid-Willamette Conference, will advance to play Century of Hillsboro Friday afternoon.
"We were really impressed with Holladay," said Pendleton coach Tim Cary. "We expected to come in here and see a strong, powerful pitcher and she definitely didn't let us down."
For three innings, Pendleton and Corvallis played even softball. But the Spartans soon gained an edge.
Corvallis' Haley Appelman batted second in the inning, singling past second base before advancing on a bunt by Emily Ehlers. Two batters later, Pendleton's Alex Hillmick threw a wild pitch that allowed Appelman to score, putting Corvallis up 1-0. It was that momentum swing that gave the Spartans (19-6) the advantage they needed.
Appelman scored the first run of the game but the Spartans threatened to put more on the board later that inning.
With Cassie Lasswell on third, Katherine Lee slapped a hit that Pendleton's Stephanie Breshears picked up. Breshears hesitated in throwing Lee out while Lasswell snuck toward home. Breshears caught Lasswell, who hastily dove back to third before either she or Lee could be called out.
Hillmick got the Buckaroos out of the inning three batters later by striking out Elizabeth Akinsanya.
"Some of my pitches were up a little bit, but nothing major," Hillmick said. "People get hits, you know. They are a very good team."
Corvallis went three up, three down in the fifth before getting back to the plate to add another run. A line drive by Sami Keim scored Holladay, who was intentionally walked two straight times after starting the game off with a single.
"She was great in the circle and very strong at the plate," said Corvallis coach Bridgette Overstreet. "It seems the bigger the game, the better the Karman."
Pendleton catcher Alicia Hernandez got the lone hit off Holladay, a shot past the shortstop early in the sixth.
"I thought if I got a hit off her the rest of the team would think, 'I can do it, too' but it didn't really work that way," Hernandez said. "We were all behind (Holladay) and couldn't stay up with her."
"We don't get to see a pitcher like that very often," Cary added. "It's a shame we can't see someone like that even in preseason."
Hillmick, a freshman, struck out five on the day.
The loss ends the season for the Buckaroos, who finished 19-8 overall and 11-3 in the Intermountain Conference behind The Dalles-Wahtonka.
"The season was great and my team supported me so much this year," Hillmick said. "I wish I could have carried them a little further. But the next three years are gonna be even better."
R H E
PEND (19-8) 000 000 0 - 0 1 1
CORV (19-6) 000 110 x - 2 5 0
Alex Hillmick, Kelli Demianew (6) and Alicia Hernandez; Karman Holladay and Sami Keim. W - Holladay; L - Hillmick (13-6).