MILTON-FREEWATER — McLoughlin High School concluded its 2022 softball season on Friday, May 13, with Greater Oregon League losses to Ontario, 15-4 and 11-3, at Gib Olinger Elementary School.

Ontario, No. 6 in the latest OSAA rankings, improved to 9-3 in league and 17-7 overall.

Mac-Hi ended up 2-10 and 6-14.

"It was a hard-fought two games," Mac-Hi coach Russ Vera said. "We played very hard as a team. We just couldn't muster up enough hits to score runs."

Darby Rhoads, the lone senior on the Pioneers' ball club, accounted for the home team's first two runs of game one with a single in the home half of the initial inning.

"She has been a hard worker and positive presence on the team since I took over in 2020," Vera said. "I wish we could have sent her out with a win."

Avah Carper produced Mac-Hi's third run of the game with a third-inning single.

The Pioneers' final run of the first game and the three runs they scored in the nightcap were the result of Ontario errors.

Vera took time afterward to praise his battery - pitcher Aisling Giguiere and catcher Rylee Herndon.

"Rylee played well behind the plate," Vera said. "She hasn't played much as a catcher since she is our starting shortstop. Aisling pitched well and didn't give up.

"I would say all the girls played their hearts out," Vera said. "Ontario is just a more experienced team."

Vera also expressed disappointment and positivity, and looked ahead to the future while concluding his post-game remarks.

"With only 10 players on the team, it's been a struggle all year," Vera said. "There isn't much I can do in substitutions with this many players, but we adapted as a team. I was so proud of each and every one of these girls. We had six freshmen, three sophomores, and one senior.

"We have over 18 incoming freshmen next year that want to play," Vera said, "so the future looks so much better for the Mac-Hi softball team."

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