The Grant Union/Prairie City Prospectors claimed the league title May 4 after their doubleheader sweep over Heppner/Ione 16-0 and 23-4 at the Seventh Street Complex in John Day.
The Prospectors won both games in five innings with the 10-run rule.
Heading into the doubleheader, Grant Union needed just one win to secure the top spot in 2A/1A District 6.
“It was an emotional day,” said Prospector head coach Zach Williams.
It was senior recognition day for a group of five seniors he’s coached for several years.
“I love them,” he said. “They’re awesome girls. They are amazing humans. They’re not just great softball players.”
It was also a fun day, he said.
“Now we want to play five more — that’s our goal,” he said.
Prospector Macy Strong, a senior, pitched game one Saturday and was tough at the plate. She singled for 2 RBIs in the second inning.
Grant Union made another offensive push in the third inning when senior Hailie Wright hit a two-run home run, followed by senior Madi McKrola’s double, which sent sophomore Jordyn Young home. Senior Marissa Smith then singled and sent McKrola home, bringing the score to 10-0.
Taylor Allen, a junior, pitched game two and was also strong at the plate, hitting a three-run homer in the fourth inning, sending McKrola and Smith home.
Strong and Allen threw well, although they weren’t 100 percent, Williams said, noting Strong has been dealing with a foot injury and it was a hot day.
“The girls hit the ball well,” he said. “They made adjustments today and put the ball in play hard and played defense.”
He continued, “They didn’t really make any mistakes to speak of on defense, and that’s what we ask of them — make routine plays routine, do little things right and everything else will fall into place.”
Grant Union has one more nonleague game scheduled against Union/Cove at 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 14, in Baker City before the start of state playoffs. The Prospectors have a bye for the first round and will host a team for the second round on Wednesday, May 22.
Williams said their challenge will be staying focused during the long layoff.
“One game is great, but we have a lot of practices between now and playoffs,” he said. “Staying focused for the next 18 days is going to be the key — and just showing up.”
McKrola said she believes her team will go far this year. She and the other four seniors have been playing softball together for 10 years.
“I have a lot of confidence and faith in my team,” McKrola said. “I just really want to win it all for them.”
Strong said she trusts her teammates.
“We really came together this year as a team,” she said. “This year, we’re ready to end with a win as a family.”