KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — From an odds perspective, what transpired Tuesday in the three Basin-hosted OSAA 4A Baseball/Softball State Championship semifinals was highly unlikely.
That said, the wins earned by all three visiting teams were just that – earned. Nothing came easy in either softball or baseball.
OSAA 4A Baseball State Championship – Semifinals – Hidden Valley 5, Henley 4
The first six innings of the OSAA baseball semifinal between Skyline foes Hidden Valley and Henley satisfied those seeking tight, defensive games. Or at least the scoreboard gave that perception to late arrivers.
The bats came alive in the seventh though, as Hidden Valley (17-6) extended a 1-0 lead with four more runs in the top of the inning. Seemingly, Henley’s late season heroics were shot.
Soon on MyBasin.com: Videos from Henley baseball and Mazama softball
Guess we were wrong. Two triples, a double and a flurry of singles later, Henley (14-14) closed the gap to 5-4 with the tying run on first base before the rally was cut short on an odd foul tip into the Hidden Valley catcher’s glove. Hidden Valley sealed its first ever state championship appearance, meeting Ontario (20-7) on Saturday at Volcanoes Stadium in Keizer. Ontario defeated North Valley 6-2, ending North Valley’s chance at back-to-back final game appearances, ending the year 21-6.
OSAA 4A Softball State Championship – Semifinals – Cascade 5, Henley 4
In a rematch of last year’s title game, Cascade trailed early and left too many opportunities on the base paths. At least for the first six innings.
Foreshadowing the baseball team’s fate two hours later, Henley softball’s two solo home runs did not hold up and a bottom of the seventh rally come up short in a 5-4 defeat.
Cascade (24-4) now goes back to the OSAA 4A State Championship game for the third consecutive season, looking for a three-peat. Henley (25-4) sees its 20-game winning streak end.
OSAA 4A Softball State Championship – Semifinals – Banks 3, Mazama 1
The late season magic wasn’t enough for Mazama softball either, falling behind 3-0 to Banks by the third inning while only scoring one of its own. The big front end by Banks was aided by Mazama (18-8) errors, something that was happily absent from its previous playoff wins.
LeAnn Valenta did pitch well, holding the Banks (24-4) club to only three runs, and none after the third inning, when Banks was accustomed to scoring double digits.
Mazama coach Todd Nickerson said afterward that his team hadn’t made mistakes like those seen Tuesday and it cost his club in a big way.
Banks now gets the chance that Henley softball had Tuesday: try to knock off Cascade and avenge a title loss. Cascade defeated Banks 2-1 for the 2010 title.