In the words of head coach Maggie Johnston, the Eastside softball team is “one step closer” to the state championships after a 2-0 (25-10, 25-10) win over the Salem Seminoles during their area tournament at home.
“The girls came out fired up,” said Johnston after the game. “They had confidence, they took care of serving. They took care of serve receives pretty well today. Overall, they just played well.”
In the first set, the Eagles jumped out to an early 9-3 lead over the Seminoles. Salem scored five of the next seven points to cut the lead to 11-8, but Eastside closed out the game on a 14-2 run to win the first set 25-10.
Eastside continued its dominance in the second set, leading 15-3 and forcing the Seminoles to call its second timeout in a row. An ace by Chasity Smith put the Eagles up 21-5, and Eastside scored twice more before the Seminoles grabbed their sixth point of the set off a service error. Salem then went on a 3-0 run, but it wasn’t enough to get back in the game, and the Eagles won the set 25-10.
“We’ve played them before, so that might have something to do with it, and the score has been this way before,” said Johnston on the Seminoles. “I think just being at home helped us out a lot. They have some good players, we just came out strong tonight.”
As a team, Eastside notched 13 aces in the match, with six coming from Kaitlynn Green and five coming from Taylor Costley. Smith grabbed four kills, while 11 attacks were spread among six different players.
When the Eagles return to action on Saturday, they will look to strengthen their chances of making it through the postseason.
“It’s just exciting,” Johnston said. “You play all season hoping to go to state, and now we’re one step closer.”