UC HEADS TO SECTIONALS

July 30, 2004 12:00 am
SMOOTH DELIVERY: Kara Mann tosses the ball to second base at Thursday night's practice in Elgin. (Observer photos/RAENELLE KWOCK).
SMOOTH DELIVERY: Kara Mann tosses the ball to second base at Thursday night's practice in Elgin. (Observer photos/RAENELLE KWOCK).

By Raenelle Kwock

Staff Writer

ELGIN —The Union County Senior girls state champions head to unfamiliar territory — Sectionals starting Saturday in Parkrose.

This is the farthest that a Union County fastpitch softball team has ever been.

"It feels great, really good," Savannah Wilhelm said after Thursday's practice.

She says Tuesday's championship game showed what they were made of.

"They're good," she said about the Corvallis-Albany squad.

Union County was tied 1-1 against Corvallis-Albany after four innings.

Wilhelm said the team did not get down on themselves and kept on going until they pulled out a 6-1 victory.

In the Sectionals round-robin beginning Saturday, Union County will play the Alaska and Washington champions twice. The two teams with the best records move on to the championship game.

Union County coach Dick Griffin said his gut feeling is that the team has the deepest bullpen than any other team at Sectionals.

The trademark of the team is its cool nature.

Mandy Griffin said they got a little excited after the first win.

"It's really great," Mandy Griffin said. "It's really fun."

"This is something we will remember for a long time," she added.

Maddy Moore said they need to take it one game at a time and play good defense.

"I think we can do this," Moore said.

Taylor Christman said her favorite thing about the team is they stay cool during the game no matter what the other team does.

Shea Bauer said it is great that the team hails from different towns.

"If we play the game like we have been playing," Bauer says, "we'll be fine."

Other members on the state championship team are Christina McGilvray, Kara Mann, Keri Reynolds, Talia Bunkers, Carrie Stratton, Katie Griffin and Shelbi Williams.

On Saturday, Union County takes on Alaska at 2 p.m. followed by a 5 p.m. game against Washington.

Union County plays Alaska at 5 p.m. Sunday. Union County plays Washington at 3 p.m. Monday. The championship game is Tuesday.

If the girls win Sectionals, they move on to Regionals in Chico, Calif.