No. 1 Pendleton softball’s state championship game against No. 6 Putnam is underway in Corvallis.
● Pendleton, which is the designated home team because of the higher seed, will start with this trio when the Buckaroos pick up the bats: At the leadoff spot, Kirah McGlothan (rf), Lauren Richards (p) will be batting in the two hole and Kalan McGlothan (3b) will be batting third. Alexi Brehaut (1b), Aspen Garton (2b), Rylee Gentner (ss), Kila Solomon (c), Carissa Cooley (lf) and Elli Nirschl (cf) round out the lineup.
● Richards starts in the circle for the Buckaroos and after retiring the first two batters, Putnam pitcher Maddie Mayer records the first hit of the game. After another run reaches base on a hit by pitch, Richards gets a big strikeout to end the top of the first inning.
● After Kirah McGlothan grounds out to Mayer, Richards takes the plate and gets on base with a single up the middle. The Buckaroos is left stranded as Mayer records her second strikeout for the third and final out of the first with the score 0-0.
● In the top of the second, Richards continues to keep Putnam at bay with two strikeouts and a ground out to send the Kingsmen back to the dugout.
● Pendleton’s Aspen Garton hits a leadoff home run over the right-field fence to give the Bucks a 1-0 lead. Kila Solomon also gets on base with a single, and its Sami Spriet who pinch runners for the catcher. Spriet is in scoring position after a sacrifice bunt for the second out of the frame. Elli Nirschl hits a infield single to advance Spriet and get on base herself. Nirschl steals second with Kirah McGlothan at the plate. Mayer gets out of trouble by striking out Kirah McGlothan.
● The Buckaroo defense takes the field in the top of the third inning with a 1-0 lead and again retires Putnam in order. Richards tallies two more strikeouts to reach five on the day.
● In the bottom of the frame, Kalan McGlothan and Alexi Brehaut each reach base with one out already recorded and Garton at the plate. Garton loads the bases with a single the drops before a Putnam defender can get a glove on it. Solomon adds to Pendleton’s total with a two-RBI single and the Bucks now lead 3-0 after three.
● The Kingsmen start off the fourth inning with back-to-back base hits to put runners on first and second. The pair of singles give Putnam three hits on the day. Another single loads to bases and brings the go-ahead run to the plate with no outs. Solomon makes the play at home for the force out, but the bases remain loaded after Putnam’s Melia Croydon reached on a fielder’s choice, but Pendleton’s defense and Richards’ efforts keep the shutout in tact.
● Putnam keeps the score at 3-0 in favor of the Bucks after retiring Pendleton in order for the first time today to bring on the fifth inning.
● Richards with three big strikeouts the side in the top of the frame. She has only allowed four hits while striking out 10 and walking none. This brings the Bucks offense up and Alexi Brehaut hits a one-out double. Josie Wilson pinch runs for the catch and advances to third base on a fly out but is left stranded after Mayer records a strikeout to end the inning.
● The Bucks get out of trouble with runners in scoring position. Pendleton holds on to its 3-0 lead and is due up in the bottom of the sixth.
● Two runners get on base which brings Richards to the plate in the bottom of the frame. Carissa Cooley hit a single to take first and eventually found third after Kirah McGlothan safely reached first on a fielding error. Richards clears the bases with a two-RBI double for some insurance runs and Kalan McGlothan follows with an RBI single. The Bucks hold a 6-0 lead with two outs.
● The two out rally continues as Brehaut also adds to the total. Pendleton increases its advantage to 7-0. Putnam finally gets out of the inning, but the damage is already done. The Bucks are three outs away from a state championship.
● Putnam’s leadoff batter in the top of the seventh pops up for the first out and Richards records yet another strikeout. Pendleton is now one out away from the title. Garton makes the throw to first for the final out. The Pendleton Buckaroos are the 2017-18 5A softball state champs. Full recap to come.
Listen online here: http://mixlr.com/osaa-radio-network-2/ and visit eastoregonian.com for updates throughout the game. Follow along with Sports Reporter Eric Singer on Twitter as well: https://twitter.com/ByEricSinger.