Sarah Good singles up the middle in the top of the eighth inning Tuesday to drive in the winning runs. (JIM WELCH photo)
The Union/Cove softball team will have the opportunity to defend its OSAA 2A/1A state softball championship after winning a 6-4 thriller over North Douglas/Elkton in eight innings Tuesday.
With a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Lady Cats nearly imploded, committing up two errors that allowed the hosts to tie the game up and force extra innings.
However, Sarah Good turned out to be the hero for the Lady Cats. With two outs in the top of the eighth inning, Good struck a two-RBI single on a line drive down the middle of the park to give the Lady Cats a 6-4 lead. Jaiden Wright
“He has a tremendous work ethic,” Moody said. “He sets really hard goals for himself and works toward them. He’s gained 20 pounds since last year, and physically that’s really helped give him more speed.”
That strength also allowed Ribich to excel in shorter distances like the 800-meter race and the 4-by-400 relay, which he says has helped his kick in the 1,500 and 3,000-meters. It paid off immediately in the 1,500.
“The first meet of the year(in Milton-Freewater) I think we he ran a 4:14, which beat his personal record,” Moody said. “He wasn’t even tired, so we knew it was going to be an exceptional year.”
The second meet was when Ribich timed at 4:10, which is Enterprise’s school record, and was spurred on by some friendly competition with Umatilla’s Fabian Cardenas.
“In Stanfield, Fabian and I both said we need to break our school records,” Ribich said. “So our intention was not just to see who win it, but to see we both could break them, and we did. I ran a 4:10 and he ran a 4:11.”
Ribich’s success has been years in the making — over five to be exact.
“My seventh-grade year, there was a girl that had just graduated,” he said. “She won a state championship banner that hung in our school for cross-country. I made it a goal then as a seventh-grader to make my mark on the school like she did.”
For the full story, see Wednesday's edition of The Observer