Vale Vikings can’t hold off Ontario Tigers in softball

Ontario’s Kialee Shaw beats the throw and slides in to second base during the second inning in the game on Friday between the Vikings and Tigers. Ontario downed the Viks 6-2. (The Enterprise/John L. Braese)

VALE – Finally back on the home field, the Vale softball team was looking for win No. 1 of the young season.

With a 2-1 lead heading into the seventh inning, all looked hopeful – until Ontario found its bats.

Ontario went to 3-0 overall with a 6-2 victory over the Vikings last Friday. The loss dropped the Vikings to 0-3 overall.

In the seventh, Ontario’s Lexi Navarrete put two runners across the plate with a double to lead the comeback charge. 

For Vale, Demia Hardin picked up the loss, going the entire game on the mound, and allowing 12 hits while picking up four strikeouts. She walked only one Tiger batter.

For Ontario, freshman pitcher Kara Matsumura was credited with the win. Matsumura, like Hardin, went the entire game, allowing three hits and striking out 10 Vale batters. She walked only one Viking.

The Viks took the early lead after Gracee Jacobs scored in the first. Ontario knotted up the score in the top of the fourth with Vale grabbing the lead back in the bottom of the fifth.

The Vikings were unable to score in the sixth, and the Tigers exploded in the seventh with AJ Juarez leading the charge, opening the inning with a double. Ontario took its first lead of the game off a single by Victoria Martinez scoring Tessa Hart. 

Both teams now face an unusual occurrence. With most teams taking spring break off, both Vale and Ontario are in action.

The Vikings are scheduled to host Yamhill-Carlton (1-0 overall) this Wednesday. 

Ontario also will host the Yamhill-Carlton, setting up a Tiger versus Tiger matchup on Thursday, March 29. Game time is 4 p.m.