Celts continue early-season dominance

Heather Ebner crosses home plate after hitting a solo home run in the top of the third inning (KEIZERTIMES/Matt Rawlings).

The McNary softball team has been used to winning in convincing fashion this season.

That theme continued in their game against North Salem on Monday, April 26.

Hannah Ebner threw a two-hitter in the circle while her sister Heather went 3-for-4 at the dish with a home run and three RBIs as the Celtics defeated the Vikings 18-0 in four innings.

“This team meshes really well together,” Hannah Ebner said.

McNary has outscored their opponents 62-1 in their first five games.

“I am loving how we are playing,” McNary head coach Kevin Wise said. “We are having a lot of fun, but these girls also do a good job of pushing each other.”

The Celtics jumped out to a large lead in the top of the first after putting up a five-spot. Abbi Covalt started the scoring with an RBI-single to left field, then later came home on a wild pitch. After an RBI-groundout by Kaylee Schwab, Shaylee Custer roped an RBI-triple down the right field line.

With Hannah Ebner on the bump, McNary put together a defensive clinic, starting with a tremendous defensive play from Kate Ronning at shortstop in the bottom of the first. After a hard ground ball was hit in the hole towards her right, Ronning laid out for an unbelievable backhanded stop before firing a seed over the first in time for the out.

“It is indescribable to know that if I miss a single spot that I have a great defense to back me up no matter what. It makes pitching all the more easier,” Hannah Ebner said.

“The defense is making plays all over the place and I think that transfers over to when they are hitting,” Wise added.

After not being able to score in the second inning, Heather Ebner drove the first pitch of the third inning over the right field wall for her second homer of the season.

“I just got up there ready to swing,” Ebner said. “I was looking for the first pitch.”

With a 6-0 lead after three frames, the Celtics exploded for 12 runs in the top of the fourth.

Ronning and Heather Ebner each had RBI-singles. Then, a two-run double by Madison Morse made the score 11-0.

Hannah Ebner kept the rally going with a RBI-hit, followed by back-to-back RBI doubles from Covalt and Lacey Vasas.

“We all did really well at the plate,” Hannah Ebner said.

While he typically likes playing in games that are more competitive, Wise was glad that he got the opportunity to empty his bench and make sure each player got a chance to compete.

“They all love each and they don’t care if they get subbed out,” Wise said. “They have been working as hard as anyone else, and we want to get them opportunities to get in and get comfortable so that next year, when we lose five seniors, they will be ready to go.”

Matt Rawlings: [email protected]