Sports Zone

HSSZ: Weekly previews

Softball Previews

Creswell Bulldogs: 5-1 overall, ranked #17 – The Main Event
Leading off: The Bulldogs have had a great start to the season, and have themselves primed to compete for a top-3 spot in the Mountain Valley Conference. Also competing for one of those spots in No. 9 Harrisburg. Creswell heads to Harrisburg for a doubleheader on Saturday, and won’t face Harrisburg all season after that. Two wins for head coach Scott Worsham’s team could be big for later in the season.

Cottage Grove Lions: 4-3 overall, ranked #15
Leading off: Cottage Grove has four games this week, highlighted by a game on Friday at No. 1 Cascade, the defending Class 4A state champions. Emily Pacheco has pitched well for the Lions, while freshman Jayda Bruner has been a huge boost on offense for Cottage Grove.

Pleasant Hill Billies: 4-2 overall, ranked #6
Leading off: Pleasant Hill begins the real meat of its league season this week with two games at Sisters on Saturday. The Billies came in second in the Mountain Valley Conference last season, but should be one of the favorites to win it this year along with Creswell and Harrisburg. Juniors Bella Black and Karley Bloxham will be key on the mound for Pleasant Hill.

Springfield Millers: 0-2 overall , ranked #23
Leading off: After a full two weeks off Springfield returns to the field this week. Springfield’s big competition of the week is a two-game series at Churchill (0-5) on Saturday. Head coach Jessica Branson is still looking for her first win at the helm of the Springfield softball program, and Churchill is the team’s best chance for a win so far this season.

Thurston Colts: 2-5 overall, ranked #15
Leading off: Thurston hosts No. 15 Ashland twice on Saturday in its Midwestern League home opener. The Colts were tied for second in the MWL last season and only graduated one player, meaning they should be competitive at the top of the standings again this season. Underclassmen Kasey Ogan and Syren Ferguson have been key on the mound, and will likely continue that through league play.

Baseball Previews

Cottage Grove Lions: 3-3, ranked #28
Leading off: The Lions have four road games this week, highlighted by a matchup at No. 8 Cascade on Friday as they look to avenge a 10-1 loss on opening day. Juniors Christian Spear and Isaiah Cushman have played well, and sophomore Micah Spear has been a solid piece for the team so far as well. 

Creswell Bulldogs: 0-6, ranked #35
Leading off: The Bulldogs had over a week off for spring break after a busy start to the season. Chris Whitmore’s squad now returns to the field as they look for their first win of the season. Creswell has a doubleheader on Saturday at Harrisburg (1-6), a great chance for the team to grab some league wins. Evan Jenkins has led Creswell on the mound so far, while Cam Leonard has been great at bat.

Pleasant Hill Billies: 5-2, ranked #10
Leading off: The Billies head to No. 3 Sisters on Saturday for a Mountain Valley Conference double-header. Pleasant Hill has started off the season very well and should look to build off that as they begin the main part of league play. Sisters, La Pine, and Siuslaw will be among the teams Pleasant Hill will be battling for the top spot. 

Springfield Millers: 3-2, ranked #16
Leading off: Springfield looks to build off a 3-0 week as they begin league play with a doubleheader at Churchill on Saturday. The Midwestern League has a lot of talent, so the Millers look to start league play on a positive note. Gabriel Laird has been a key component of Springfield’s success so far this season, and will be called upon to hit and pitch well this season.

Thurston Colts: 4-3, ranked #15
Leading off: Thurston returns from a successful trip to Arizona and the Colts now begin their Midwestern League title defense. The Colts host No. 15 Ashland in a doubleheader on Saturday. Reigning Class 5A Player of the Year Maddox Molony had a great week in Arizona and should continue to lead the Colts. Freshman Grady Saunders has been excellent so far on the season as well.



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