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Lady Celts start 3-1

Haley Ebner makes a throw to first base in the Lady Celts’ softball game with Jesuit High School Friday, March 20. The Lady Celts won 3-2. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
Haley Ebner makes a throw to first base in the Lady Celts’ softball game with Jesuit High School Friday, March 20. The Lady Celts won 3-2. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

McNary High School’s girls varsity softball team is off to a roaring start for the second time in two years. The girls are 3-1 after four preseason contests.

The Lady Celts started the season with a 12-0 win over Grant High School Monday, March 16. McNary already had a 5-0 lead when it unleashed a seven-run sixth inning on the Generals.

Senior Megan Ulrey pitched a complete game allowing one hit with seven strikeouts. At the plate, Kiana Villarreal went 3-for-4 with a double, a triple, four RBIs and two runs scored. Madison Oliver also had a triple in the outing.

Two days later, the Keizer team edged Silverton High School’s Lady Foxes 1-0. McNary’s only run came in the sixth inning when Emma Kinler brought home Ulrey on a single. McNary stranded eight runners in the game.

On Friday, March 20, the Celtics beat Jesuit High School 3-2 in a steady rain. Jesuit rallied for two runs in the sixth inning, but couldn’t overcome the Celtics’ 3-0 lead.

Kinsey McNaught was the only batter with more than one hit and went 2-for-3. Villarreal had a double.

McNary’s first loss came Monday, March 23, to West Linn High School, but it wasn’t for lack of offense. The final score was 15-14 Lions.

After the Celts ran up a 4-0 lead in the first inning, West Linn went ahead 6-4 in the third. By the sixth inning, the Lions were up 15-7. McNary scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth and five in the seventh, but fell just short of knotting it up.

Villarreal went 3-for-5 at the dish including two home runs and four RBIs. Oliver, Villarreal, Ulrey, Hannah Carr, Nicole Duran and Emma Kinler all had doubles. Oliver led the team with five RBIs and also had a home run.