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Lady Vikings open season with spring break split

Forest Grove girls win two of their four games at the season-opening Spring Break Classic
by: Chase Allgood Forest Grove shortstop Kira Hein prepares to apply a tag during the Lady Vikings’ non-conference game against Pendleton last Tuesday in Portland.

Ole Evenson knows all about the ups and downs of coaching high school softball - the team that shows up to play one day may bear very little resemblance to the team that shows up to play the next day.

Such was the case last week when Evenson's Forest Grove squad opened its season at the Spring Break Classic in Portland. The Lady Vikings were spotty in a pair of losses to Sunset and Cleveland on Monday, but they bounced back on Tuesday to beat Pendleton and Oregon City, evening their early season record at 2-2.

'It was a learning experience,' Evenson said of the tournament's first day. 'We didn't make adjustments right off the bat, but I think we learned from it and we came back the next day and performed much better.'

Allison Thorud pitched a two-hitter in a 7-3 win over Pendleton on Tuesday, while teammate Jory Gronseth went 3-for-4 at the plate and sophomore Kira Hein went 2-for-4.

In the nightcap against Oregon City, Thorud belted a solo home run in the first inning and sophomore Taylor Schmidt contributed two hits and a sacrifice fly in a 6-1 victory.

'When we're focused, we can be pretty good,' Evenson said. 'Right now we're making adjustments and using the pre-season to get better. If we play our best, we can beat any team in the state.'

The Lady Vikings will be tested often this season in the new-look Pacific Conference, an already loaded league that added both last year's Class 5A state champion (Glencoe) and state runner-up (Century).

'It just makes the league that much tougher,' Evenson said. 'But it also helps us prepare for what matters most, which is the state playoffs.'