By Mathew Brock

Pilot Sports Writer

After a week and a half break the Bruins returned to the ballfield Wednesday to host the Panthers for their rescheduled game from March 15. A relatively close game saw the 2A/1A Panthers take a 13-9 victory over the 4A Bruins after seven innings.

The Bruins are currently 0-4 overall this season at rank No. 33 in the OSAA 4A rankings and begin league play next Thursday. The Panthers are 3-4 overall at rank No. 15 in the OSAA 2A/1A rankings and 1-0 so far in league play, tied with Toledo and Reedsport in the SD5 Special District

The Bruins took an early 3-1 lead in the first inning after out hitting the Panthers 2-1, but the Panthers’ Jade Piper hit a home run to keep their morale high moving forward. The second inning was uneventful with neither team scoring, but the Panthers managed to tie things up in the third at 3-3. From there the Panthers began to break away while shutting down the Bruins offensively, scoring up to 5-3 in the fourth and 6-3 with a single run in the fifth.

The Bruins got back on their feet in the sixth to score three runs, but the steady pace of the Panthers broke away with two more runs to go into the seventh at 8-6. The Bruins managed to take another three runs, but a big inning by the Panthers saw Piper hitting a second home run to take the leading Panthers far ahead at 13-9.

While the Panthers were strong offensively, the coaching staff knows the team will need to shore up its defensive skill moving forward into league play.

Despite the loss, bruins coach Kelly Garvin says she saw a lot of improvement from the team this week after spending their week and a half break working on their fundamental skills and strategies.

“We were better than I’ve seen us so far. Our errors were less and less and we were making our plays,” Garvin said. “We aren’t quite there yet, but we can make the plays we want, just not when we want.”

Garvin feels prepared for league play despite facing so many cancellations in the team’s non-league season.

The Bruins traveled to North Valley on Friday to play the Knights and are scheduled to host Reedsport at home later today, provided weather conditions are suitable. The Bruins then begin league play on Monday against the Douglas Trojans, where they will host the first game at 5 p.m. before traveling to Douglas on Friday to play a double-header starting at 3 p.m.

The Panthers traveled to Siletz on friday to play the Warriors in their second league game of the season and then head to Neah-Kah-Nie today to play a doubleheader starting at 11 a.m. On Monday the Panthers host the Illinois Valley Cougars for a non-league game starting at noon.

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