Keizer — On the opening night of games for the National UFO Weekend Tournament, the West Salem Lady Titans 14U team faced up against Hub City 14U from West Albany on Thursday Night in Keizer. Lady Titans Ace Dominique Bouska kicked off the game in style, setting the tone with three strikeouts and a walk in the first inning against Hub City. Gracie MacKay drew a walk in the bottom of the first and after a Hub City error, West Salem had runners on first and second with two outs. McKenzie West would strikeout Bouska to end the inning, keeping the game scoreless after one inning.
Bouska would continue her hot start in the second, striking out the side while only allowing a single in the inning, while her counterpart West would retire the side after hitting the leadoff hitter with a pitch. Bouska struck out three more in the third inning, picking up nine strikeouts in her first three innings of work, with her offense right around the corner to give her some help. Maya Williams led off the Lady Titans third with a double to left field. On the next play, Emma Jauregui would drop a sacrifice bunt to move the runner to third, but a Hub City error allowed Williams to score, opening the scoring 1-0 in favor of West Salem. Maile Salang would reach on another Hub City error, putting the Lady Titans in position to threaten again. After a wild pitch put runners on second and third, Gracie Mackay hit a grounder to shortstop, but it was misplayed again and allowed West Salem to make it a 2-0 lead on Hub City. After a fielder’s choice, Lauryn Johnson drilled a double to left field, making it 3-0 West Salem in the third.
After the Johnson double, a pair of errors on Hub City along with a walk blew the game open to 5-0, with Chloe Vidiro keeping the two out rally going with an RBI single making it 6-0 West Salem. Kaylee Nicholson would finish off the rally with an RBI double, setting up the Lady Titans with a 7-0 lead heading into the fourth. Bouska, after a long rest from the circle, set down Hub City aside from a single in the inning, keeping it a 7-0 game. In the bottom of the fourth, Salang, Mackay, and Martin would load up the bases with one out in the inning. After a fielder’s choice made it two outs, the pitcher Bouska would aid her own cause with a two RBI single after a wild pitch allowed Salang to score, blowing it open to a 10-0 lead and the brink of a five inning win. Hub City would pick up a run in the fifth, but it wasn’t enough to avoid the 10-1 mercy rule loss to the Lady Titans in five innings. Bouska closed the game with ten strikeouts, while also leading the team in RBI’s with two. West finished the game with ten runs allowed for Hub City, but with only one earned run charged, showed the defensive woes that resulted in eight errors on the night.
After the dominant win, Lady Titans Head Coach Tim Martin chatted about his team’s impressive win, and previewed the daunting weekend ahead for West Salem, who have another tournament in St. Helen’s, WA starting Saturday.
Coach Martin on Dominique Bouska’s dominant performance, “She is one of our leaders, she is one of the players who really sets the tone for us in big games, she is our lefty with a big arm, a big heart, and who brings it every time she comes out there. She got on a roll, ended up with double digit strikeouts in the end, but its her hard work outside of our arrangements and practices that really shows every time she goes out there.”
Coach Martin on the Lady Titans upcoming tournament schedules, “There are little things that we analyze from day to day in these tournaments, so its anything from chalk talks to talking strategy with our girls. They know that every time they come to the park its time to compete, time to come on and compete positively.”
Hub City will face the Dallas Lady Dragons tomorrow at 7 PM in Keizer, while West Salem will play the Sprague Junior Olys tomorrow at 5:30 PM in Keizer.