Update post at 6:30 a.m. May 17
The Clatskanie Middle/High School Girls Softball Team is the number 1 seed in the State Culminating Week Tournament and will host Dayton at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the state quarterfinals.
There will be a spectator occupancy of 75 for Clatskanie fans outside of their vehicles. School official are asking that fans socially distance and follow Oregon Health Authority mask guidelines.
Previous Chief coverage posted May 14
The Clatskanie Middle/High School Softball Team is heading to State.
The Clatskanie players faced a must win situation on Thursday afternoon. To qualify for state competition, Clatskanie had to win one of the double header games against Willamia.
As the team headed into the games, each player knew what they had to do to be successful. At the end of the two five inning games, Clatskanie finished both games victoriously 12-1.
Coach Kevin Sprague credits consistency for his team's overall season of 12 wins and one loss record.
"The biggest factor in our season up to now has been consistent defense and pitching," Sprague said. "We have not walked too many or made excessive errors. We have forced the other teams to string together multiple hits to score. Offensively we have been a bit up and down."
Sprague said the abbreviated sports season came with challenges.
"The biggest challenge was the compressed schedule and getting up to game speed," he said, but added that the team overcame the struggle. "The kids have been working hard and I feel like we are just now playing our best softball."
Sprage acknowledges that heading to state competition will also be challenging.
"The biggest challenge at state will be just playing better teams and having to execute at a higher level to win," he said. "Softball across the state has been up and down in terms of quality. Our three games with Rainier I feel have helped to get us up to higher competitive position."
When The Chief asked Sprague what his message will be to the players as the team heads to state and the wraps up this abbreviated season, he replied, "Just relax and trust the work we have done up to now."
The State playoffs begin Tuesday, May 18. Clatskanie's competition and the time and location of the game is expected to be announced late Saturday.
Follow the team here online and in the Friday print editions of The Chief.