Henley Softball: Hornets use 8-run 6th inning to escape 3A Cascade Christian

Playing for the first time in 11 days, Henley (23-2) struggled out of the gate against 3A No. 9 Cascade Christian (19-6).

The Hornets committed back-to-back errors in the top of the first inning, allowing two runs to score, then stranded two runners in scoring position in the bottom half of the inning. Neither team would record another hit until the bottom of the fourth inning, when Annie Campos led off with a double. Her courtesy runner, Ahllona Benson, would later score on an error to make it 2-1. 

The Challengers answered the run in the top of the fifth, scoring on a two-out single by McKenzie Bonner. Henley answered right back in the bottom of the inning, with Samantha Moore driving in Suzy Nichols on a fielder’s choice. After Cascade Christian went down in order in the sixth, the Hornets came to the plate with six outs left to overcome a 3-2 deficit. 

They did that and a whole lot more, scoring eight runs on six hits, including four in a row to start the inning. The tying and go-ahead runs both came across on a Natalie Hudson single. Later, Gracie White scored on an error and Moore drove in Nichols again (this time on a bunt) to extend Henley’s lead to 6-3. 

The exclamation point to the inning was a two-out grand slam by Layliana Segura, her third home run in as many games and sixth of the season (moving her into a tie with Anna Harper for the team lead). Annie Campos wrapped up her fifth 7-inning complete game of the season and a 10-3 win for the Hornets by striking out the side in the top of the seventh. She allowed 2 hits and 1 earned run while issuing 2 walks and a season-high 13 strikeouts.

At the plate, Segura went 2-for-4 with 5 RBI (giving her a team-high 34 this season); Hudson went 1-for-3 with 2 RBI; Moore went 1-for-4 with 2 RBI; and Campos went 2-for-3. 

For Cascade Christian, Bonner was 1-for-3 with 1 RBI. In the circle, sophomore Ashlyn Cooper pitched all 6 innings, allowing 10 hits and 5 earned runs while issuing 1 walk and 6 strikeouts (after 5 innings, her line was 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K). She also had the Challengers’ other hit at the plate, going 1-for-3. 

Henley is now on a 19-game winning streak, including a pair of forfeits by Mazama last week (due to lack of players) that gave the Hornets the outright Skyline Conference championship for the eighth season in a row (they’ve been at least co-champions for the last 12 seasons). They finish league play at home with a doubleheader against Hidden Valley (12-9, 9-4) Saturday. The first game is at 12 p.m.

Cascade Christian concludes their league (and regular season) slate with a home doubleheader against 3A No. 2 South Umpqua (19-0) Tuesday. The first game is at 3 p.m.

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