Lightning strike at Stars 'n' Stripes

By Observer staff July 09, 2014 11:13 am

Union County did not make it easy on themselves, but they still walked away with its second consecutive tournament crown.

After dropping their three pool-play games Saturday, the Lightning stormed back in bracket play, winning three straight — including a 10-9 thriller against Northwest Reign in the championship game — to earn the 16/18A title at the Stars ‘n’ Stripes Tournament in Salem.

The rebound began with a 15-0 drubbing of the Oregon Rave in their first game in bracket play. Karrigan Wilhem went 4-for-4 with two runs scored, and Alaina Carson drove in three runs.

In the second Sunday matchup, the Lightning broke a 1-all game with three runs in the fifth inning and two in the sixth to edge the Pendleton Xtreme, 6-2. Mallory Copeland was 3-for-3 at the plate and went the distance on the mound to picked up the win. Jaiden Wright, Addie Hagerman and Miah Slater all had two hits.

The Lightning jumped out with nine runs in first inning of the championship tilt with the Northwest Reign and held on late to take the one-run victory.  Marrisa Carson was the winning pitcher, and Copeland led the team with two hits and an RBI. The Lightning won despite being outhit by Pendleton, 11-6.

“We really struggled to put a complete game offensively and defensively, until Sunday,” head coach Woody Wright said. “There were high-quality teams that forced us to play well, so all in all it was a good weekend.”

The Lightning are 7-3 this summer and now turn its attention to this weekend’s state tournament, which begins Friday in Salem.