Bobcats conquer Oregon
Expect the best. Aim high. Bounce over the road bumps and recover. Have great fans.
That was the message of the Union/Cove state softball champions. The Lady Cats roared to a 3-0 victory over Yoncalla Friday to win the 2A/1A state softball championships at the Oregon State University Softball Complex.
Union head coach Paul Phillips knew he had the talent to win it all. It was just a matter of putting the pieces together — defense, strong pitching, bats.
Winning state is nothing new for the Lady Bobcats. They have a strong softball tradition. This is the second state championship for Union/Cove, the last coming in 2008. The team placed second in 2009.
This year, Union/Cove finished 26-3 and entered the championship game with a quiet confidence. A loss to eventual state champ Heppner in the second round of the 2012 state playoffs, 4-3, when all four runs were unearned, showed the Lady Bobcats what it would take to reach the top this year.
Union/Cove showed unusual resilience. The Lady Bobcats started the year 16-1. Then came the road bump — a doubleheader sweep at the hands of Enterprise/Joseph. That wrong turn seemed to give the Lady Bobcats renewed focus.
A good group of kids and good coaching group working together made the title happen. Give credit to Woody Wright, assistant coach; Ladd Roberts, pitching coach; and Steve Robertson, former head coach, now in charge of younger player development,
It also didn’t hurt that Union/Cove fans, from 357 miles away, outnumbered Yoncalla’s, from 91 miles away, by three to one in the stands.