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Tigard faces tough tests in District 4

Cedar Mill and Lake Oswego make a difficult start for Tigard's stars
by: ROLAND SIMMONS, WHIP IT — Tigard's Emma Stanley tosses the ball to first base for a putout during her team’s 13-0 loss to Cedar Mill on Monday at Alpenrose Stadium.

PORTLAND - After a month layoff without games, Tigard wasn't exactly eased back into action at the District 4 Majors softball tournament.

Cedar Mill is the defending district champion and represented the area at last year's World Series. Tigard found out why in Monday's 13-0 loss at Alpenrose, which ended by the 10-run mercy rule after 3 ½ innings.

Cedar Mill pitcher Kim Ryder shut down Tigard, allowing three hits and striking out nine with 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 advantage 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 looked to do more damage but Tigard second baseman Annie Spangler charged in to make a basket catch for the third out.

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.

Again, Tigard ended the inning with a defensive gem. Cedar Mill hit a hard liner that first baseman Keara Thompson snared with a cross-body catch and promptly stepped on first to double the runner off for the final two outs.

Cedar Mill moved ahead 13-0 in the third. Annie Rosser led off with a single up the middle. Ryder bunted for an infield hit. 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.'

Tigard nearly struck first after Maddie Boyce led off the game with a first-pitch bunt single down the third-base line. Boyce advanced to second on a passed ball and to third on Jessie Lemieux's groundout. But consecutive strikeouts ended the frame.

'We're young and Cedar Mill has been here,' Rose said. 'We haven't met a team and a pitcher like Kim before. They're just a good team.'

Seven players off Cedar Mill's 2005 championship team return, while Tigard features a squad that consists mainly of 11-year-olds.

'Once we got Cedar Mill, I figured we'd play the best and see what we can do,' Rose said. 'This might not be a bad thing for us. They're tough girls.'

Tigard nearly broke the shutout with a two-out rally in the fourth. Emma Stanley hit a single past the second baseman and into right-center. Thompson followed by reaching on an error that allowed both runners to advance a base. But Ryder finished off the game with her third strikeout of the inning.