Cedar Mill starts fast again at district
And in doing so, the all-statr team eyes a second straight Series berth
PORTLAND - Many of the girls that led Cedar Mill to the 2005 District 4 Major softball championship have returned.
And by the way Cedar Mill dominated its opening game, the team is fully prepared to defend its title. Cedar Mill cruised past Tigard 13-0 on Monday at Alpenrose, ending the game by the 10-run mercy rule after 3 ½ innings.
Seven players off last year's championship team that played in the World Series are back, giving Cedar Mill a solid combination of seasoned veterans and eager newcomers.
'Some of us were nervous, some were pumped,' Cedar Mill pitcher Kim Ryder said. 'It's really exciting to win the first game. It will help us feel more relaxed.'
Ryder allowed three hits while striking out nine by using a sizzling fastball and an effective drop ball.
'She's just a good pitcher,' Tigard coach David Rose said. 'She has one of the best drop balls and she had the outside corner today. If the ump gives it, and you can hit it consistently, you can be tough.'
Cedar Mill took adavntage of three straight walks in the first to give Ryder a 2-0 lead. Ryder, Katie Mardesich and Jessie Moore walked to load the bases for Madeline Fey, who hit a hard chopper past the third baseman and into left field for a two-run single.
Cedar Mill tacked on seven more runs in the second despite getting just one hit. Tigard made four errors in the frame, walked three batters and hit another allowing Cedar Mill to pull away. Sarah Wilson capped the inning by lining a two-run single down the right field line to score Erin Gray and Natalie Quirk for a 9-0 lead.
Cedar Mill moved ahead 13-0 in the third by putting the ball in play. Annie Rosser led off with a single up the middle. Ryder bunted for an infield single. After a strikeout, Moore reached on an error when the first baseman pulled her foot off the bag as Rosser scored.
Fey's groundout scored Ryder before Gray stroked a triple that one-hopped off the center field fence to bring in Moore for a 12-0 lead. Anne Marie Richards capped the scoring with a single into right that brought in Gray.
'When she threw strikes, we hit them,' Cedar Mill manager Bob Ryder said. 'Anybody that throws strikes will find out we can hit.'
Despite her dominanting pitching performance, Ryder said the team's offense is what really allowed her to settle in.
'It's not all about pitching,' she said. 'It feels good to have a lot of runs to back you up.'
Coach Ryder said he had a hard time keeping his team focused in the practices leading up to the district tournament since Cedar Mill hadn't played a game in five weeks. But he liked what he saw once things got going Monday.
'They were raring to go and focused,' Ryder said. 'There's been a lot of anticipation for them.'
And playing in last year's World Series only has Cedar Mill more eager to make a return trip.
'We still want to do it again because it's worth it,' Kim Ryder said. 'It's so cool to go to the World Series. It's got us all pumped.'