Weston-McEwen pitcher Bre Ward had a win and a walk-off three-run homer in Friday's doubleheader. (Kathy Aney/East Oregonian)
Weston-McEwen pitcher Bre Ward had a win and a walk-off three-run homer in Friday's doubleheader. (Kathy Aney/East Oregonian)

No. 2 Weston-McEwen finally got the best of No. 1 Grant Union in a pivotal 2A/1A Special District 7 softball doubleheader Friday.

The TigerScots – who had dropped 11 consecutive games to the Prospectors, including a 10-0, six-inning defeat in last year's state final – made the clutch plays in 5-3 and 4-2 victories.

The sweep put Weston-McEwen (15-3, 10-1) in position to win the district title ahead of Heppner (15-6, 11-2) and Grant Union (17-3, 9-2). The TigerScots can strengthen their grip on first place Tuesday at home against Heppner, the team that handed them their only district defeat.

Taking two from the Prospectors gave Weston-McEwen an emotional lift, especially considering how the TigerScots lost to them in the 2023 state championship game.

“Every year we start with a list of goals, and that was one of the first ones we put on the board,” Weston-McEwen coach Jeff Griggs said. “Everyone remembered last year's state championship game and how we didn't compete. Our girls didn't need any help getting up for these games.”

Grant Union appeared ready to salvage a split in the second game, leading 2-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh, but Weston-McEwen made a dramatic rally to earn the sweep.

Sophomore Lily Langford homered to make it 2-1, and with two runners on base and one out, sophomore Bre Ward crushed a walk-off, three-run homer to center field for the 4-2 win.

“That ball was a very long shot,” Griggs said. “We were feeling pretty good about that. It's not anything that people are going to forget anytime soon. I think that momentum from the first game definitely helped us in the second game.”

The TigerScots had a 14-6 edge in hits in the second game, but stranded nine runners. Senior pitcher Hailey Stallings recorded the complete-game victory, striking out five and walking one. Senior Halle Parsons took the loss for Grant Union.

In the first game, Weston-McEwen defeated Grant Union's ace, senior Drew Williams. The TigerScots scored five runs on five hits against Williams, who fanned 12. Ward recorded the win, giving up seven hits, striking out seven and walking five.

The Prospectors took a 2-0 lead in the third inning as junior Addy Northway hit a solo home run and junior Reece Jacobs added an RBI double.

Weston-McEwen sophomore Hope Berry connected for a two-run homer to tie 2-2 in the fourth. The TigerScots pulled ahead 5-2 in the fifth, getting an RBI double from Langford and a run-scoring single from Ward.

The sweep is a confidence-builder for Weston-McEwen, which scored a combined two runs in three games against Grant Union last season. Williams shut out the TigerScots on three hits in the state final.

“Yes, it feels good,” Griggs said. “But this doesn't mean anything long-term down the road, other than if we bump into them in the bracket, we're going to definitely know and believe that we can compete with them.”

Playing at home gave Weston-McEwen a boost.

“We've been driving down to John Day at least four years in a row,” Griggs said. “I have seniors that this was their first home game against Grant Union. Our mind frame was lots of good energy, home field. We maintained good energy all the way through. We had timely hits.”

Weston-McEwen returned six starters from last year's team. The TigerScots are hitting better than .400 as a team, led by Stallings (.577), senior Bailey Moore (.510), Langford (.482) and junior Ava Sams (.475).

North Douglas takes over first

No. 3 North Douglas defeated No. 10 Oakland 3-1 in a battle for first place in 2A/1A Special District 5 on May 1.

The Warriors (17-3, 11-1) stand alone in first place over the Oakers (16-4, 9-2) and can wrap up the outright district title by beating Elkton (7-8, 3-7) on Tuesday and Umpqua Valley Christian (11-4, 8-3) on Wednesday.

North Douglas, which won at Oakland 15-4 on April 12, had to grind out the home win over the Oakers. Warriors junior Brooklyn Cyr tossed a four-hitter with seven strikeouts to outduel Oakland sophomore Maddie Dalberti.

Cyr hit a triple in the first inning and a double in the third inning, scoring both times on singles by senior Maddy Vaughn. Oakland drew within 2-1 on an RBI single by junior Cerena Thacker in the fifth inning, and North Douglas answered in the bottom of the inning when sophomore Tehya Williams scored senior Graycie Rodgers on a suicide squeeze.

Streaks end

Two of 6A's hottest teams saw their long winning streaks come to an end last week against unranked teams.

No. 4 West Linn (20-2, 10-1) lost at Tigard 8-6 in Three Rivers League play, ending the Lions' streak at 15 games. The Tigers (15-9, 7-5) got a big game from senior shortstop Ella Dardis, who went 3 for 4 with two home runs and three RBIs.

No. 9 Central Catholic (20-3) had its 14-game winning streak halted with a 5-3 nonleague loss at Jesuit (14-8). The win is part of a four-game winning streak for the Crusaders.

Showdowns on tap

This week's schedule features several high-stakes showdowns.

In 6A, McDaniel (14-6, 11-2) will face second-place Franklin (12-9, 10-4) in a key Portland Interscholastic League game Friday at Erv Lind Stadium.

The 4A Oregon West Conference title could be at stake Wednesday when No. 9 Stayton (16-4, 11-1) goes to No. 5 Cascade (20-3, 12-1).

No. 4 Pendleton (21-2, 9-1) and No. 6 La Grande (17-1, 9-1), tied for first place in the 4A Greater Oregon League, will wrap up the regular season Friday when they clash in a doubleheader at Pendleton.

No. 4 South Umpqua (19-0, 14-0) and No. 5 Douglas (17-2, 12-0), both unbeaten in 3A Special District 3, collide Thursday in a doubleheader at Douglas.

Notes: Sophomore Tatum Cole led the way for Lebanon in a 3-0 win over Central, throwing a one-hitter with 16 strikeouts and hitting a solo homer. … Freshman Brezlyn Hagemeister helped lead Ridgeview to three wins over Mountain View last week. She went 8 for 12 with three doubles and nine RBIs and recorded all three wins in the circle, striking out 35 in 21 innings. She threw a one-hitter in a 4-1 win. … Crater senior Alexis Perez threw a one-hitter with 16 strikeouts in a 1-0 win over North Eugene. … Stanfield's Mykael Graham pitched her team to a doubleheader sweep of Union, fanning 17 in 14 innings of 7-3 and 10-4 wins. … Addisen Fisher led Bend to a 9-0 win over Summit, striking out 17 in 6 1/3 perfect innings and hitting a solo homer. … South Eugene edged Putnam 1-0 behind Abby Langan-Forbes, who threw a two-hitter with 14 strikeouts. … The Dalles clinched a repeat title in the 4A Tri-Valley Conference, beating Madras 15-0 in four innings. Siyra Faulkner threw a perfect game. … Grant got a no-hitter from freshman Hazel Heron to beat Lincoln 3-0. She struck out 10 and walked five.