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Panthers have strong showing at nationals

SEATTLE - Oregon Panthers girls fastpitch softball team competed tough at the 16A ASA National Championships in Seattle, Wash., July 31-August 6.

The team's overall record was 4-3, and finished in a tie for 25th place out of 136 teams.

The Panthers, featuring Brooke Davis, Melissa Peck, KayLee Swartz and Alyssa Troccoli of Sherwood and Gina Rawls of Tualatin, started the National Championships winning their first game against Gainesville Gold, Fla., 7-0. Regis' Alex Minten hit a home run to help the cause.

In the second pool game, Panthers lost to All-American Sports Academy (CA) 3-1, giving them a #2 seeding heading into bracket play.

With strong pitching performances by Cascade's Elayna Van Hess and Sherwood's Brooke Davis, the Panthers started bracket play by beating Synergy 90, Calif., 4-2 and Fresno Force, Calif. 6-5.

Southern California Xplosion beat the Panthers 4-1 dropping them into the losers' bracket.

The team came back and beat the USA Athletics, Calif., 5-4. Starting Saturday's play with only 32 teams left in the 136-team pool, the Panthers fell to the Nevada Lightning 8-4 sending them home.

Leading hitters for the tournament were Rawls, Alex Minten, Troccoli and Elizabeth Olheiser.

Coaches for the team are Doug Highberger of Sublimity and Don Peck of Sherwood.