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LO softball still rolling

by: VERN UYETAKE Lake Oswego’s softball team surrounds Verita Richardson at home plate after Richardson hit a grand slam against West Linn last week.

At the midway point of the season, the Lake Oswego softball team finds itself just one game out of first place, picking up a pair of big recent wins over West Linn and Lakeridge but falling to Canby for the second time this year 5-0.

Last Wednesday, Lake Oswego hammered West Linn 10-4, putting up more runs than any other team has scored against the Lions this season.

"That was a great win for our momentum. We got that first run and then things just kept building. We've done that this year. When we get a run it's contagious," Lake Oswego coach Tina Cooke said.

The Lakers had the lead in a crucial TRL tilt but then added an exclamation point.

With the bases loaded, Verita Richardson came to the plate and belted a grand slam much to the delight of her teammates.

"That was kind of the cherry on top for us. I think it was good for our girls to see that they were capable of putting up that many runs," Cooke said.

That victory moved Lake Oswego into a tie for first place heading into Thursday's rivalry game with Lakeridge.

The game turned into a pitcher's duel. The Pacers' Kalin Rooney was terrific against Lake Oswego's solid line-up.

"She threw really well. Her change-up was on and we didn't adjust to it," Cooke said.

Lake Oswego's Courtney Huston was equally strong, throwing five scoreless innings before being relieved by Maddy Dunn.

The game stayed scoreless through seven innings and into the 10th when the international tiebreaker was enacted where each team gets to start with a runner on second base.

In the top of the 10th, Lake Oswego catcher Mackenzie Farnham gunned down Lakeridge's runner trying to steal third base to end the threat.

Then, in the bottom of the inning, Dunn plated Sammy Saldivar with a base hit that just made it through the infield.

On Monday the Lakers were shut down by Canby as the team's bats struggled for the second game in a row.

"It was a tough game because we didn't make any mistakes but we also didn't make anything happen. We know now that we have to come out in every game and earn the win," Cooke said.

The Lakers are 5-2 in league and face Oregon City at home on Friday as they look to keep their league title hopes alive.

"I think winning the league would be a bonus for us. We're still focused on making the playoffs," Cooke said.