Thursday, April 24, 2014

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4A SOFTBALL: Ryanne Huffman, Central bounces back with two Oregon West Conference wins

INDEPENDENCE -- For a young team that features just two seniors, Central shortstop Ryanne Huffman -- a second-team all-state player in 2012 -- is considered a veteran for the Panthers softball squad.

Central’s Ryanne Huffman prepares to fire a throw to first base in Thursday’s 8-0 Oregon West Conference victory over Taft.

Photo by Pete Strong

Central’s Ryanne Huffman prepares to fire a throw to first base in Thursday’s 8-0 Oregon West Conference victory over Taft.

April 24, 2013

INDEPENDENCE -- For a young team that features just two seniors, Central shortstop Ryanne Huffman -- a second-team all-state player in 2012 -- is considered a veteran for the Panthers softball squad.

She's also a sophomore.

Huffman, Central's leadoff batter, has been a picture of consistency as of late, as she went a stellar 7 for 10 at the plate in last week's two-game Oregon West Conference split with Taft. The Panthers lost April 16, 7-6, before rebounding with Thursday's 8-0 win.

"She had a huge week," Central coach Amber McLean said of Huffman, who reached base and scored on all three of her at-bats Thursday.

Freshman Kelsi Christenson also had another excellent week on the offensive end, as the Central third baseman belted her sixth home run of the season Thursday to tie Kayla Auer's single-season record mark, set in 2009.

Christenson, who went 4 for 8 in both games, powered the three-run long ball in Thursday's first inning to kickstart Central's surge, which saw the Panthers score in each of the first four innings.

Central starting pitcher Jenny Cole rebounded from a tough outing April 16 when she gave up 16 hits with Thursday's crisp performance. The junior allowed only three hits - all singles.

"That happens," McLean said of Cole's two very different outings. "Sometimes, you're going to have an off day, but as long as you can bring it back you have a chance in any game."

Brittney Bettles added a two-RBI double in Thursday's win and Kylie Nash and Cole each went 2 for 4 at the plate to round out Central's highlights.

Monday, it was Cole's time to shine as the junior belted a walk-off home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to give Central a thrilling 4-3 win over Stayton. The Panthers travel to Stayton for a matchup Wednesday and then face first-place Newport Friday and Monday in an important series.

NEXT GAMES

Central at Stayton

When: Wednesday, 4:30 p.m.

Central at Newport

When: Friday, 4:30 p.m.

Newport at Central

When: Monday, 4:30 p.m.

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