The McGarry Fieldhouse has a new dent in it.
Warriors senior Amie Russell put her mark on the Philomath High building with a powerful home run blast Thursday afternoon in the bottom of the first inning against Dallas.
"She hits a ton of them in practice and I've always wanted to see one in a game; that was a thing of beauty," PHS coach Erik Remington said. "That ball was crushed, no doubt, off the bat it was gone.
"Now she gets a dent on that building that'll probably stay there for a long time," he added.
Russell's home run provided early fireworks to tie the score and the Warriors came from behind again in the fourth inning to take a 7-6 lead but ended up losing the contest to the Class 5A opponent, 12-7.
"I've been hitting the batting cages, but not that high," Russell, a third-year starter at third base, said of her home run. "Yeah, that thing was gone."
Philomath (0-2) opened the season Wednesday with a 4-1 loss to Thurston and then dropped the five-run decision to Dallas. Both of those programs have a history of postseason success. The Warriors will play another strong 5A school Friday with a trip over to Lebanon.
"How we get better as a program is to play quality programs," Remington said. "Hopefully, the theory to my madness works -- playing three really good teams and them jumping into the Oregon West, but it'll look a whole lot different."
Philomath opens conference play Monday at home against Stayton.
Russell said the team, which made the final four in the Class 4A playoffs last season, is focused on league play and not getting ahead of itself with thoughts of state playoff success.
"Especially with the shift, we're going to see a little bit tougher opponents with Sweet Home coming in," Russell said. "Our goal is to take league and then just do another run. We have enough girls that put the foundation in last year, were there last year, and everybody's a little hungry for it ... but yeah, we're looking to go deep."
Philomath trailed 2-0 in the bottom of the first when Russell unleashed with the powerful home run. Senior Hannah Williams opened the game by reaching on an error and she also scored. The Dragons went to work and regained the lead in the third when freshman Ruby Earhart took an 0-2 pitch deep for a two-run shot.
In the bottom of the fourth, Philomath trailed 6-2 before staging a comeback. The Warriors scored five times while sending 11 batters to the plate for a 7-6 lead.
Senior Kylee Galvan led off the inning with a triple to right and she scored on the next play when sophomore Kamden Combs grounded out to the right side. After another ground-out followed, the Warriors scored four more runs with two outs.
Senior Riley Weaver singled past a diving third baseman and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Freshman Reagan Larson singled her home with a single and took second on the throw. Then it was to the top of the order with Williams and she delivered with a single to center field to drive in Larson. Sophomore Kaili Saathoff reached on an error while Williams crossed home plate to tie the score at 6-6.
Saathoff stole second to quickly get into scoring position but then the Dragons intentionally walked Russell to focus on junior Lara Hunter. That strategy backfired with Hunter knocking a single to right field for a 7-6 lead. Galvan got her second hit of the inning with an infield single to load the bases. But Dallas got out of the jam on a fly to center field.
Dallas tied the game in the top of the fifth and then added five more in the sixth to account for the final margin. After the fourth inning, Philomath didn't have another hit with the only base runners reaching on hit by a pitch and two walks. Dallas reliever, sophomore Madelyn Loughary, entered the game in the fifth and struck out the side. She allowed no hits and had fanned five in her three innings of work.
In the circle, Combs started for the second straight day and junior Kylie Barnes relieved.
"I think age-wise, we're pretty mature. Like, we have a lot of seniors but the hard thing is we've been that way every year, so they've been kinda riding the bench and getting innings here and there," Russell said. "I think once everyone finally finds their spot and their place, it's going to be a lot better."
Friday's game at Lebanon is scheduled for a 4:30 p.m. start.
Dallas 12, Philomath 7
Thursday at Philomath
DALLAS (1-1) 202 215 0 — 12 13 2
PHILOMATH (0-2) 200 500 0 — 7 9 3
Junior varsity: No report.