Lincoln City
Thursday, March 4, 2021

Underclassmen propel first-place Lady Tigers to league win

Lady Tiger Taft Softball

The Taft High softball team is steeped in senior leadership from McKenzie Evenson, Madison Clanton, Alyssa Tanksley and Naomi Rini, but the underclassmen continued making their presence felt in the box scores Friday in a 12-2 league victory at Santiam Christian.

Freshman Makena Cole and sophomores Hailee Danneker and Corey VanDamme had three hits apiece; winning sophomore starting pitcher Emma Coulter and Danneker had three RBIs each; and VanDamme scored three runs as the Lady Tigers stayed atop the West Valley League standings.

“Today was a big win,” Taft Coach Sandy Stuart said. “We struggled to play at full force against them the first time, which led to extra innings [in a 5-4 April 10 home win]. This time, we came out ready to strike first and we had a positive outlook the whole game.”
The fifth-ranked Tigers (15-8, 7-1) scored two runs in the first inning, five in the third and four in the fifth to make easy work of the Eagles.(9-8, 4-5)

Freshman outfielder Kyla Knott, Denneker and Evenson scored two runs apiece for Taft, while Rini and freshman second baseman Kayla Lininger drove home two runs each.

“We were confident and supported each other all game, which kept us up,” Stuart said. “I was very proud of all the hard hit balls we had today. Emma pitched a great game as well.”

Coulter struck out seven and scattered five hits while yielding just one earned run.

No. 1-ranked Dayton (16-6, 7-1), which shares first place with Taft, defeated Willamina 24-0 on Friday. The Lady Pirates host the Tigers on Wednesday, May 9, in a pivotal league game after losing to Taft 4-2 on April 20.

Taft 12, Santiam Christian 2

Kyla Knott 5 2 1 0
Alyssa Tanksley 3 1 0 0
Hailee Danneker 4 2 3 3
Emma Coulter 4 1 2 3
Claira Tolan 4 0 0 0
McKenzie Evenson 4 2 1 1
Corey VanDamme 4 3 3 0
Makena Cole 4 1 3 1
Kayla Lininger 2 0 1 2
Naomi Rini 1 0 1 2
TOTALS 35 12 15 12

A Atkins 3 1 1 0
J Risinger 3 1 1 0
S Carley 3 0 1 2
I Montoya 3 0 1 0
K Boruff 2 0 0 0
L Penner 2 0 0 0
C Wilfong 2 0 0 0
A Lee 2 0 0 0
L Devlin 2 0 1 0
TOTALS 22 2 5 2

TAFT 205 041 0 — 12

LOB–TAFT 7, SANTIAM CHRISTIAN 4. ERR—Kayla Lininger, K Boruff, A Atkins, S Carley. 2B–Hailee Danneker (3), Corey VanDamme, Emma Coulter, A Atkins, S Carley. HBP–K Boruff. SACF–Naomi Rini. SACB–L Penner. SB–Kyla
Knott, Makena Cole.

Emma Coulter 6 5 2 1 0 7 0
K Boruff 6 15 12 9 1 5 0
PB–Hailee Danneker, J Risinger (2). SO–Kyla Knott, Makena Cole, Claira Tolan, Corey VanDamme, McKenzie Evenson,K Boruff, L Penner (2), A Lee (2), C Wilfong, S Carley. BB–Alyssa Tanksley.

Taft roster/schedule

Class 3A West Valley League standings

Class 3A OSAA rankings


Jim Fossum
Jim Fossumhttp://SilverandBlackToday.com
Homepage Executive Editor and former longtime Sports Editor of the near-200,000 circulation Las Vegas Review-Journal, Fossum brings 40 years of award-winning experience covering virtually every facet of print and digital journalism to Lincoln City Homepage. The former longtime reporter for the Newport News-Times and Lincoln City News Guard is also Editor-in-Chief and Senior Columnist for SilverandBlackToday.com, which covers the NFL's Oakland (Las Vegas) Raiders.


  1. Way to go Tigers! Journalists: please quit referring to the girls’ teams as “Lady” Tigers. It is an unnecessary and demeaning qualifier. It connotes that the boys’ teams are the real Tigers, but oh there’s a version for ladies too. I mean, how ridiculous would it be to refer to the boys’ teams as “Gentleman Tigers”? That’s right, extremely. News flash, girls’ are taken seriously now, even in sports! While I’m sure no harm was intended, there’s no excuse for not catching up with the times.


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