The Main Event
What2Know: Springfield at Thurston track and field. Wednesday, April 26. Field events start at 3:30. Track starts at 4:15.
Who2Watch: Thurston’s Breanna Raven, defending State Champion in the 200m, Long Jump and Triple Jump, broke her own school record in the Long Jump last week with a mark of 18′ 3″. On the boys side keep an eye on the 200m, where Springfield’s Dwayne Fotta (23.38) faces off against Thurston’s Diego Hernandez-Reja (24.00).
Cottage Grove Lions: 6-6 overall, ranked #19
Leading off: The Lions head to No. 9 Marshfield on Tuesday in an important Sky-Em League game. The teams split a doubleheader earlier in the season, so the winner of this game will hold the tiebreaker. Emily Pacheco continues to excel on the mound, while sole senior Josie Hitt has been important for Cottage Grove’s offensive success.
Creswell Bulldogs: 10-3, ranked #10
Leading off: Three weeks ago Creswell lost a doubleheader loss at No. 7 Harrisburg by a combined score of 26-2. Since then the Bulldogs have rattled off five straight wins, inclduing one against Harrisurg and one against rival No. 9 Pleasant Hill. Creswell now sits atop the conference with a break from conference play this week. The Bulldogs host No. 19 Santiam Christian tonight. Look for star pitcher Hope Ukolov to carry the load.
Pleasant Hill Billies: 8-4, ranked #9
Leading off: The Billies have a doubleheader at La Pine on Friday. Both teams sit just outside the top-three in the Mountain Valley Conference, meaning neither hold an automatic qualifier spot for the playoffs. If Pleasant Hill wants one of those spots, a series win against La Pine will be important.
Springfield Millers: 1-11 overall, ranked #31
Leading off: Springfield only game this week is next Tuesday at No. 19 Ashland. Freshman Emma Patrick-Busby has been an excellent edition for the Millers. Head coach Jessica Branson got the first win of her Springfield tenure last week, and should look for the team to build off that this week.
Thurston Colts: 8-5 overall, ranked #13
Leading off: Thurston hosts Churchill in a doubleheader on Saturday. The Colts need a series win to keep pace with No. 14 Eagle Point atop the Midwestern League. Syren Ferguson, Gabriella Montes, and Sadie Decker have all hit well at the top of the lineup for Thurston.
Cottage Grove Lions: 5-3, ranked #25
Leading off: Cottage Grove has a string of non-league games this week, including a doubleheader at Class 5A Parkrose on Friday. Juniors Isaiah Cushman and Christian Spear, along with sophomore Micah Spear have all been key contributors on the mound and at bat.
Creswell Bulldogs: 3-10, ranked #33
Leading off: Creswell has a short conference break, with non-conference opponents No. 18 Santiam Christian and Class 2A No. 11 North Douglas on the slate this week. Creswell should be confident after its biggest win of the season last week over rival No. 15 Pleasant Hill. Junior Evan Jenkins has been the driving force for much of the team’s success this season.
Pleasant Hill Billies: 7-7, ranked #14
Leading off: Pleasant Hill heads to No. 5 La Pine for a doubleheader on Friday in a matchup between two of the top four teams in the Mountain Valley Conference. Pleasant Hill’s offense has struggled at times this season, and the Billies will need good hitting from Brasen Holliday, Caden Richardson and Hunter Allen at the top of the lineup to set the tone.
Springfield Millers: 4-10, ranked #28
Leading off: The Millers look to stop a four-game skid next Tuesday at No. 16 Ashland. Springfield and Ashland sit at the bottom of the Midwestern League standings after tough starts for both teams. Springfield got great offense from sophomore Tim James last week, and head coach Jim Fryback will need some underclassmen to step up for the team to win.
Thurston Colts: 12-3, ranked #5
Leading off: The Colts host No. 14 Churchill on Saturday in a Midwestern League doubleheader. Churchill sits in second in the league behind Thurston, so a series win for the Colts would be a big step towards another league title. Underclassmen Connor Molony and Grady Saunders continue to be aces on the mound for head coach Dennis Minium.