Last Thursday, the Oran High School softball team hosted perennial spring softball power, Kennett.
Oran used a four-run first enrout to an eight to four victory over an Indian team that has advanced to the final four in three of the last four years.
The Eagles scored first, but it was the defense that allowed it to happen.
Kennett picked up a single off of freshman starter, Alyssa Spane. After a stolen base and a groundout, the Indians had a runner on at third and only one out. That runner took off on a ground ball to Samantha Welter, who was playing third. Oran executed the rundown play to perfection.
Coach Jim Eftink said, "The game-changing play came in the first. With Kennett threatening to score we got a ground ball to Sam. She got the runner at third in a rundown. We practice rundown plays all the time and the girls executed that play perfectly. Everyone involved got to sign the 'Gold Ball'”
In the home half, Sydney Kern and Kaylee Payne singled. Kern would score on Leah Cauble's double. Payne and Cauble would score on Claire Ramsey's double. Ramsey would cross on Welter's single to center. Oran would bat around in the inning.
In the second, Kern reached on an error, stole second, went to third on a balk and scored on an error. Ramsey reached on a fielder's choice after a Cauble single. Ramsey scored from first on Jessie Long's double. to make the score 6-0.
Meanwhile, Spane was cruising along in the circle, allowing only two singles and one walk through the first four innings. In the fifth Kennett connected for a one-out solo home run.
The Eagles would get that run back in the bottom of the sixth when Payne tripled with one out and scored on Cauble's sacrifice fly.
Kennett would try to make a comeback in the seventh but fell short.
The leadoff batter singled, moved to second on a sac bunt and went to third on another single. The runner at first tried to steal but was gunned down by Ramsey for out number two. A single and a pair of doubles followed before Spane induced the next to hit a game-ending fly ball to left fielder Katelyn Streeter.
Eftink said, "Alyssa stepped up her game, she was very dominant early. I know she gave up some runs late, but I think that was mostly from getting tired. This was her first time going a full seven innings for varsity."
Spane (4-0) allowed four runs, all earned, on 10 hits. She walked two and struck out four.
Ramsey was 2-3 with a double and 3 RBI. Cauble, who returned from a two-week, four-game absence due to an injury, picked up right where she left off, going 2-3 with a double and 2 runs driven in.
Maddie Graviett, Kern and Payne each had two hits on the day. Payne's included a triple. She crossed the plate three times. Long also had an extra-base hit and had one RBI.
The Eagles improved to 8-1 with the victory.