By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes
McNary finished the regular season with a come-from-behind walk-off win over West Salem and run-rule victory at Sprague.
Now, the Lady Celts are hoping to carry that momentum into the state playoffs.
“We’re definitely excited going into the playoffs because obviously we ended our season on a high note,” McNary senior Haley Ebner said. “So we’re hoping to build off of that and get in the playoffs and play strong.”
The Lady Celts, No. 20, will open the state tournament against No. 13 Franklin on Monday, May 21 at 4 p.m. at Erv Lind Stadium in Portland.
McNary is familiar with the Quakers. The two teams met on March 21 with Franklin winning 14-10.
The Lady Celts had four infield errors in the first three innings and fell behind 12-3.
“We did not play well,” McNary head coach Kevin Wise said. “We made a ton of errors. It was ugly. We didn’t show up for like five innings. We were trying to kill the pitcher and hit home runs and we figured out we have to go through the middle.”
Franklin went on to win the Portland Interscholastic League and finish the season 19-6 but five of the Quakers losses came in March. Franklin went 17-1 in league play. The Quakers only loss came to No. 18 Roosevelt 2-0 on April 23.
No other team in the their league is ranked in the top 25.
“I don’t want to downplay them (Franklin) because they have some talent but when you look at their conference, it is not good,” Wise said.
In contrast, the Greater Valley Conference had four teams finish in the top 20. Along with McNary, were No. 10 West Albany, No. 12 McMinnville and No. 16 West Salem.
“When you look at where our conference is you’ve got West Albany, West Salem and McMinnville and all three of those teams are really tough and have really good pitching,” Wise said. “I think this year it’s very balanced. We’re all pretty close to each other.”