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Crusaders pitch, hit, throw and beat Apollos 5-0


Jesuit is solid in all areas to beat Sunset in both teams opener

by: MILES VANCE - CLOSE PLAY - Jesuit junior Kelsey Downey slides past Sunset sophomore shortstop Rachel Sather during the Crusaders' 5-0 win at Jesuit High School on Monday afternoon.

BEAVERTON — Jesuit’s softball team rolled out the welcome mat for Sunset in both teams’ 2013 Metro League opener on Monday.

And then the Crusaders rolled up the mat, grabbed it, whacked the Apollos about the head and shoulders and walked away with a 5-1 win at Jesuit High School.

“I was really proud of our team tonight. We really came together,” said Jesuit senior shortstop Makaela O’Malley, who scored two of her team’s five runs. “Our defense was phenomenal and we got those clutch hits. It was perfect.”

“Korey (Oleson) did a really good job of throwing strikes, which was key for us, and we did a really good job of being solid, being focused in, and it was good,” added Jesuit junior second baseman Kelsey Downey, who finished 2 for 4 at the plate and scored once.

The win lifted Jesuit’s record to 1-0 in league and 8-4 overall, while the Apollos fell to 0-1 and 2-7 overall.

For their part, Sunset’s players knew they’d had their chances and knew they could learn from their loss and play better.

“We had a couple errors, but as long as we get our errors down, we can be a solid Metro team,” said Sunset senior catcher Dakota Stewart, who went 1 for 3 in the loss. “We’ll come back. We’ll get them next time.”by: MILES VANCE - GOT IT - Sunset junior Brittany Ramirez makes a running catch in center field during her team's 5-0 loss at Jesuit High School on Monday afternoon.

“I think that some days it just doesn’t work,” added Sunset junior left fielder Ashley Harrison, who went 1 for 2 at the plate with a walk. “We work real hard, but it’s OK. We’ll get them next time.”

The Crusaders broke through for two runs in the bottom of the first against Sunset pitcher Jade Stewart, getting a one-out double to center from Downey, an O’Malley drive to left that forced a Sunset error and brought Downey home to score. Then, with two outs, Jessica Wyatt singled to center field and scored O’Malley for a 2-0 edge.

After a scoreless second inning, Jesuit tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the third, getting a leadoff walk by O’Malley, a run-scoring single from Emily Allen, and a two-out single to center by McKenna Holmes to plate Allen and push the lead to 4-0.

Jesuit’s final run came in the sixth inning when Ali Schultheis led off with a single to center, took second on an error, then scored when Sunset couldn’t handle Downey’s grounder to third for the final 5-0 margin.

Sunset’s best chance to score came in the top of the fourth when Jade Stewart reached base on a one-out fielder’s choice and Renee Crick joined her on a Jesuit error. But Oleson and the Crusaders made sure that rally went no further — next hitter Anna ApRoberts grounded to Downey at second and she tagged out Crick, then threw to first for an inning-ending double play that effectively stopped Sunset’s chance of scoring.

“It was really nice to be able to get that win at home because we’re such big rivals,” O’Malley said. “It was a confidence-builder for us.”

Despite their Monday loss, the Apollos left confident of their chances in the 2013 Metro League race.

“I think we can have a productive year,” Dakota Stewart said. “We’ve just got to get our freshmen to settle down. They were a little nervous for the first Metro game.”

“We were nervous because we have a lot of new players, but I think if we just keep working hard at it, we can be one of the best,” Harrison added. “We just need to relax.”

For the game, Jesuit’s Wyatt went 2 for 3 and knocked in one run, and Allen was 1 for 3 with one RBI and one run scored. Oleson allowed just three hits, walked two batters and struck out three. Jade Stewart added her team’s other hit and finished 1 for 3.

In upcoming games, Jesuit hosts Southridge at 5 p.m. Friday, plays at Aloha at 5 p.m. Monday, and hosts Beaverton at 5 p.m. April 17.

The Apollos play at Aloha at 5 p.m. Friday, plays at Beaverton at 5 p.m. Monday, and hosts Westview at 5 p.m. April 17.

To see a complete photo gallery from this game, please go to milesvance.exposuremanager.com.