March 29, 2022 — On Friday, March 25, spring was in the air around the campus of Siuslaw High School as both the softball and baseball teams played their first home games of the season.
On the north side of campus, new coach Jason Lipe and his Viking softballers opened their home schedule against the Coquille Red Devils. SHS came storming out of the gates but eventually fell 16-6.
On the south side, the Viking baseball team continued to take care of business in the non-league portion of their schedule, beating Coquille 9-2.
The Siuslaw softball team was playing only the second game of their season as a community tragedy in Sutherlin and rain elsewhere forced cancellations of all but one of their previous games.
A crowd gathered at the Viking softball field. The bleachers were full, and fans lined the far side of leftfield fence. They were treated to excitement from the start as the Vikings came out hot in the first inning.
Utilizing walks and errors by the Red Devils, plus a few timely hits, Siuslaw went up 4-0 in the first frame. The lead did not last. Coquille soon answered and took the lead back from the Viks.
“We came out strong then fell apart,” said Lipe.
Besides one bad inning where Coquille scored most of their runs, senior Maggie Manning pitched exceptionally.
“Maggie pitched a great game,” said Lipe. “She struggled one inning, as did all our pitchers, then finished strong.”
Freshman Jolee Erickson also pitched well, all the more impressively, in two different games; right after the varsity game, she also pitched for the junior varsity. Lipe was impressed by her performance.
“Jolee pitched great in the JV game,” he said.
The Viks JV softball team lost by just one run 10-9. They were very close, as they had the bases loaded when Coquille got the last out in the 7th inning.
Siuslaw baseball continues to impress with strong play on both the offensive and defensive sides of the field in a 9-2 victory.
The Vikings put up 12 hits, led by senior Isaac Garza who went 2 for 3 with 2 runs and 3 RBI. Junior Noah Dotson had his best game of the young season, also going 2 for 3 with 2 runs scored. Senior Beau Erickson doubled and also had a 2 for 3 day at the plate.
The Vikings terrorized the Red Devils on the base paths to steal a remarkable nine bases; Erickson and Garza each had 3. Senior Jason Garcia had 2 and junior Vic Ayala picked one of his own.
Garza was also the star on the mound. Freshman Joel Sissel started for the Vikings and pitched two innings, giving up no earned runs. Garza relieved him to start the third and pitched five strong innings to earn the win. He gave up zero runs, five hits, walked one and struck out seven.
Viking Coach Tom Shinn was especially impressed by the defense his team played and stressed how important good glove work is for the success of your pitching staff.
“Defensively, having only one error is right on course with what we want to see,” said Shinn. “Really helps our pitching staff when we play solid defense behind them. The pitchers can throw strikes and expect plays to be made.”
Next up for both the Siuslaw baseball and softball teams is a home doubleheader on Friday, April 1. The Viks will face the Pleasant Hill Billies and first pitch for game one for both teams is at 3 p.m. KCST 106.9 FM will broadcast game two of the baseball doubleheader which will start about 30 min after the end of game one.