HARRISBURG — The Scio Loggers don’t fit the script of a normal underdog, but they are starting to warm up to the role.
The Loggers began what they hope will be a lengthy playoff campaign with an 11-1 road victory over No. 9 Harrisburg in the opening round of the 3A state softball playoffs Wednesday.
Scio head to No. 1 Clatskanie, a 15-0 winner over Brookings-Harbor on Wednesday, for the quarterfinals on Friday.
Despite entering the afternoon as the No. 7 team in the state, Scio finished fourth in the loaded PacWest Conference and was forced to hit the road against a talented Eagles squad that won the Mountain Valley Conference.
But led by an experienced starting pitcher and a lineup that was ready to breakout, the Loggers took an early lead Wednesday and never looked back.
“We graduated seven seniors last year, who all started for four years,” Scio coach Jim Mask said. “We were underdogs all year long and we kind of took that on our shoulders and said, ‘Hey, that’s who we’re gonna be.’ The girls really responded well this last week and came out and put it together today."
Scio took a 1-0 lead in the first when Olivia Zeiher scored on a passed ball. Then, in the second, the Loggers busted the game open and threw six runs on the board while batting around.
Alexus Franklin got the scoring started with an RBI single before Ashlynne Ziebert and Zeiher each crushed two-run doubles.
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“It was awesome — we’ve kind of been in a slump recently,” Scio starting pitcher Kasidee Parazoo said. “Today, we pretty much knew that we couldn’t start out slow, because it was going to be a battle if we did. I thought we did great just coming and getting base hits.”
While Scio’s offense went to work early, Parazoo kept the Harrisburg bats quiet to snuff out any hopes of a rally. The senior right-hander tossed a complete game and struck out five while issuing just two walks.
Parazoo held the Eagles to four hits and the lone run she surrendered came in the fifth and final inning, when Harrisburg needed to score at least twice to prevent the 10-run from ending the game.
“We kept runners off base — that was the big thing we were worried about,” Mask said. "We know they’re fast and know they’re aggressive and like to steal bases. … With (Parazoo) pitching as well as she did, she kept people of base. It helped us a bunch.”
Franklin went 2 for 3 and scored three times for Scio and Zeiher went 2 for 2 with two walks and drove home four runs.
For Harrisburg, Taylor Bennett went 1 for 3 and drove in a run, and Taytum Hughes went 1 for 3 with a walk.
The Eagles end their season 12-7, and three Harrisburg seniors played their high school finale on Wednesday.
“Our willingness to battle was great,” Harrisburg coach David Hughes said. “Even down 11-0, we were still loud and still in the game. They never rolled over and played dead all year long; they kept fighting.”