Siuslaw softball snaps streak

Every player that came to bat got on base at least once against Coquille on March 17. Four important contributors were, from left: Jolee Erickson, Ashley Hennesee, Sophia Montoya and Abby Riggs. Photos by Zac Burtt/Siuslaw News

Viks beat Coquille 12-2 for first win in almost two years

March 24, 2023 — When the Siuslaw Vikings beat the Cottage Grove Lions 8-7 in the second game of a doubleheader on April 30, 2021 the team probably had no idea about the significance of the win. Little did they know it would be almost two years before they earned another.

The 2020-21 Viks lost their last six games after that win. Last year’s team lost all twenty of their games. Combine that with their season opening 16-1 defeat at the hands of Sutherlin to open this season and that's 27 straight losses for the Siuslaw varsity softball team.

That streak came to a screeching halt on Friday, March 17 when Siuslaw traveled to Coquille for a non league game against the Red Devils and won in resounding fashion 12-2 in five innings.

Things looked good from the beginning for the Viks against Coquille.

Junior Ashley Hennesee and sophomore Sophia Montoya walked to lead off the game. A double by sophomore Abby Riggs put the first runs on the board for the Viks and they never looked back after that.

Siuslaw would go on to score four runs in the top of the first to take a big lead before Coquille even got a chance to come to the plate.

Sophomore Jolee Erickson started the game on the mound for the Viks and pitched well.

The score was still 4-0 when the Viks came to plate in the top of the 5th.

First-year coach Brian Riggs gave some advice to his team before they went to bat but admitted he was being a little facetious.

“I told them a ten run lead in the fifth means the game is over,” he said referring to what is known as the “mercy rule,” a rule that ends the game when one team has a ten or more run lead at the completion of five innings. “I was surprised when they made it happen.”

Make it happen they did.

RBI from Riggs, Erickson, sophomore Kimberly Martinez-Munoz, juniors Makayla Freeman and Brynlee Manues and senior Kristin Wall added up to eight more runs for the Viks and the lead was 12-0 when the Red Devils came to the plate at the bottom of the 5th.

Coquille would need to score at least three runs to keep the game alive. They did put two runs on the board to make the score 12-2.

Red Devil freshman Cadence Little came to the plate with teammate Chloe Carr on third and two outs. Carr would have to score to keep the game going.

Erickson struck out Little and the game ended via the mercy rule, snapping the Viking losing streak.

Starting pitcher Erickson would finish the game with 5 strikeouts and while giving up only 3 hits and one earned run allowed to earn her first win of the season. She was also 1-3 at the plate with 2 runs and 2 RBI.

Teammate Riggs was the offensive star for the Viks going 3-4 with 2 runs and 3 RBI. Montoya was 2-2 with a run and Freeman was 2-3 with a run and RBI. Every single player that had a plate appearance got on base at least once for Siuslaw.

The win puts the Viks at 1-1 and though the season is still young, league play starts almost immediately. SHS opened the Mountain Valley Conference play on Tuesday March 20 with a road game at Creswell. The next day, on Wednesday, those same Bulldogs came to town for a doubleheader.

In other Siuslaw High softball action the Viking junior varsity team went down to Coos Bay on March 18 for a doubleheader against 4A Marshfield. Though they didn’t come home with a win, Coach Riggs wanted to note the play of the team, especially in the second game that they lost in a tight contest 13-10.

“Even though they lost I was really pleased by how the JV played in that second game against Marshfield,” said Riggs. “To play like that with all those new girls was really impressive.”

Next up for the Siuslaw varsity is a return to the non league schedule when, on Monday, March 27 Oakridge comes to town for a game at 2 p.m.