EUGENE – In years to come, the Hilanders’ girls should be able to find their spot in the Burns trophy case at the class reunion. There will be a state championship volleyball trophy, a state runner-up basketball trophy and now…for the first time ever, a state softball trophy.
After dropping their first game of the year to Grant Union/Prairie City, the Hilanders softball team took off on a 30-game win streak capped off by a 3-1 victory over top-ranked Yamhill Carlton in the 3A state championship game on Friday, June 3 at Jane Sanders Stadium in Eugene. The win gives Burns their first ever state softball championship.
Burns jumped on the scoreboard early, picking up a run in the first inning by Ayla Davies after a wild pitch allowed her to score from third base.
Both teams then settled in for great pitching and defense until the fifth inning. In the top of the fifth, Mackenzie King started things early with a single to left field. She advanced to second off a sacrifice bunt by Kaya Dobson and scored after Mattie Woodbury cracked the ball deep to left center for a stand up double and RBI. After advancing to third base, Woodbury scored the second run of the inning off a Davies base hit, her second RBI of the day.
Yamhill-Carlton scored their lone run of the game in the bottom of the sixth, but in the bottom of the seventh, King easily took care of a fly ball to end the game and give the Hilanders the title.
For Burns, Davies picked up the Player of the Game award after pitching the entire game and recording 14 strike outs and only three walks. She also helped out the cause with the bat, credited with one RBI and taking a base on a walk.
The Hilanders picked up the three runs on six hits and the defense was almost perfect, recording only a single error. Yamhill-Carlton had the lone run on five hits and no errors.
For Burns, senior Kaya Dobson and junior Halle Houck were teammates in two state championship teams for the Hilanders and one runner-up squad. Quite a busy year for these two.