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St. Mary's season comes to an end

Winning the District 6 softball title opened the door for St. Mary's to get a free pass to the quarterfinals and a home game in the Class 2A/1A state playoffs.

— But it also kept the Crusaders on the shelf for eight days while teams like North Douglas scrapped through the first round last Friday.

— That lack of game-day preparedness rubbed off more on the Crusaders than playing in their home surroundings Monday as North Douglas stole a 4-1 victory at St. Mary's High.

— St. Mary's starting pitcher Lani Brophy struggled with her control and the Crusaders didn't help matters with miscues in the field. Brophy walked six with four strikeouts, and had one of the Crusaders? three errors.

— On the opposite extreme, North Douglas pitcher Katie Plumb was sharp and her defense outstanding for the most part. Plumb had three strikeouts but only allowed two walks with no earned runs.

— The Warriors committed two errors in the fifth to allow the Crusaders? lone run, and had a third in the seventh but countered those plays with twice as many defensive gems.

— Give North Douglas the credit, said St. Mary's coach Robin Snider. They came out ready to play. Our girls did really well all season. It's just hard to end on a note like this.

— The Warriors (28-6) advance to Wednesday's semifinals and will play host to Portland Christian.

— St. Mary's capped its season at 17-7, and never let on that the Crusaders were in store for anything other than a victory leading up to Monday's first pitch.

— We seemed pretty relaxed from the beginning — maybe a little too relaxed, said Snider.

— St. Mary's appeared destined to get off on the right foot until Plumb hit a two-out single and then stole second as Shawna Jackson's throw from home went into center field. After two straight walks by Brophy to load the bases, the St. Mary's senior walked in a run on four pitches to give North Douglas a 1-0 lead.

— For her part, Plumb retired the side unscathed to close out the first.

— Snider and North Douglas coach Bill Millard agreed that the first inning went far in establishing the Warriors? momentum.

— I was just worried about having a letdown from our last game that we played because Santiam Christian was an awesome team, Millard said. But the girls stepped up and did the job. I think it was important for us to get that first run.

— Bree DeArmond set up a prime scoring chance for the Crusaders with a leadoff single in the fourth, but missed a signal by Snider and was picked off at second base. Brophy followed with a single but Plumb answered with two quick outs.

— North Douglas picked up the game's deciding runs in the fifth, with Melissa Cool earning a one-out walk and Plumb following with a single past a lunging DeArmond at shortstop. With runners on second and third, Erin Thomas dribbled a hit past a diving Brophy and DeArmond's relay home was too late.

— Amanda Mast forced a replay on the next series, this time with positive results for St. Mary's as Jackson blocked the plate well and DeArmond's pinpoint throw nabbed Plumb at home.

— The Crusaders missed a chance to get out of the inning pinned with only one run when Kitty Derrick's hit was backhanded by Brophy up the middle but came loose on Brophy's spin toward first base.

— Sometimes the bounces just don't go your way, said Snider.

— Brophy then walked Corrinne Kaleese to load the bases and finish her day inside the circle. Sarah Fetty induced a pop up to keep the Warrior lead at 3-0.

— Kathryn Zielony's hustle helped trim the Crusader deficit in the bottom of the fifth. The freshman reached safely when Cool dropped the ball at first base. Zielony then stole second and came around to score when Kathleen Garrod's throw from home went into center field.

— DeArmond sparked St. Mary's in the sixth with a one-out single. After DeArmond stole second and advanced to third on a passed ball, Brophy earned a walk to put runners on the corners and Fetty at the plate. Brophy then tried to get into a rundown between first and second, hoping the play would allow DeArmond to score.

— Unfortunately for St. Mary's, the play backfired as DeArmond was gunned down at home and Brophy was nabbed trying to sneak her way to third base.

— We thought we could get something going but they just played that real well, Snider said.

— North Douglas added its final run in the seventh when Garrod was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

— St. Mary's used a walk and an error to put runners at first and second before the Warriors got out of the jam with a great fielder's choice play by Thomas at shortstop, a strikeout and a groundout to Mast at second.

— Right at the end we got a little shaky but I think that was just nerves because we've never gone this far, said Millard, whose team lost in the quarterfinals last year.

— North Douglas......................................100 020 — — 4 7 — St. Mary's...............................................000 010 0 — — 4 —

— Plumb and Garrod; Brophy, Fetty (5) and Jackson. W — Plumb (17-3). L — Brophy (8-5).

Reach reporter at 776-4488, or e-mail