By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes
McNary head softball coach Kevin Wise wants the Lady Celts to approach the state playoffs the same way they did the regular season—one game at a time.
“We’re just looking at it like that’s our championship game and then we move on to the next one and that’s our championship game,” Wise said. “I think it’s just trying to stay with what we’ve been doing. Our motto this year has been ‘one day at a time’ and that’s what we’ve done and we’ve done it really well.”
McNary defeated Sprague 7-4 on Friday, May 12 to close out the season 19-4 overall and 14-2 in league play to finish on top of the Greater Valley Conference standings.
Nadia Witt, Alexa Cepeda and Emma Kinler each had two hits in the win.
As the 9-seed, the Lady Celts host Grant (24) on Monday, May 22 at 5:30 p.m. in the first round of the state tournament.
McNary shares two common opponents with Grant—Cleveland and Lakeridge. While the Lady Celts shut out Cleveland 10-0 and defeated Lakeridge 11-2, Grant, which finished fifth in the Portland Interscholastic League, split with the Warriors, losing 3-2 and then winning 7-2. Grant beat Lakeridge 11-10.
McNary enters the playoffs riding a six-game winning streak, which included convincing victories over McMinnville and West Salem.
“If we just keep hitting and being aggressive and Faith (Danner) just keeps dealing like she’s been dealing, I don’t think we’re going to change a whole lot because obviously it’s been working,” Wise said.
“Last week they were on fire. That’s the hope this week is that we keep that intensity in practice and roll that into next Monday.”
The Lady Celts scheduled a game at Franklin for Thursday, May 18 to stay fresh entering the postseason.
McNary could see the Portland Interscholastic League champs in the second round of the state tournament.
“They’re not going to see our full lineup,” Wise said. “We’ll hide it a little bit.”