The 2A Grant Union/Prairie City Prospector softball team hosted four teams during their spring break tournament March 25-27 in John Day.
The Prospectors, who hold an 8-1 overall record, had three wins and one loss to a top-ranked 3A team.
Grant Union starts league play Saturday when they face the Union/Cove Bobcats (6-2) in Union in doubleheader action with games at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Prospector head coach Zach Williams said they’re expecting tough competition.
“Union is well coached, a great program, and has good pitching and some good hitters,” he said. “We prepare like we always do, work on fundamentals, do little things right, get a lot of swings in the cages and be mentally prepared to grind it out.”
Although the Prospectors started last week’s tournament with a loss March 25, the competition brought out Grant Union’s best.
Grant Union, in 2A/1A Special District 6, fell 5-3 in nine innings to the 3A Clatskanie Tigers. Both teams are ranked No. 1 in their division in the early season OSAA standings.
The game went to an international tie-breaker rule in the ninth inning, with each team starting their half of the inning with their last out on second base.
Prospector Macy Strong pitched six innings with six strikeouts, three hits and four walks.
Hailie Wright was 3 for 4 for Grant Union, and Madi McKrola was 1 for 2.
Grant Union shut out Nestucca 12-0 in five innings the following day.
Taylor Allen pitched four innings with seven strikeouts, giving up two hits and two walks. Jesaka Culley pitched the final inning, giving up one hit.
Jordyn Young went 1 for 2 with a home run and three RBIs.
Wright was 2 for 3, and Kori Jo Girvin was 1 for 2.
Grant Union also faced Rainier that day, a 3A team ranked No. 2 in the state, the Prospectors battling for a 3-2 win.
Strong threw seven innings, giving up four hits and one walk.
“Macy threw a great game,” Williams said. “She threw strikes, located pitches and let her defense work. The defense was very good and made routine plays routine.”
Wright went 3 for 4, and Tiler Voigt was 1 for 3 with a solo home run.
Two Prospector grand slams were the highlight of Grant Union’s final game on March 27, the Prospectors taking a 21-4 victory over 3A Sutherlin, ranked No. 14.
Allen pitched all five innings with seven strikeouts, giving up eight walks and four hits.
Wright and Baylee Combs each hit a grand slam home run.
Wright was 4 for 4 with a 2-run home run and a grand slam for a total of 6 RBIs, and Combs was 2 for 2.
Allen was 2 for 3 with a home run, McKrola was 3 for 4, Marissa Smith was 3 for 4 and Strong was 3 for 4.
“The season is going great so far,” Williams said. “The girls have bought in to working hard and being great teammates. They get along well and enjoy playing together.”