by: Darrell Jackson, Jaime Paul fires a strike in the victory over Milwaukie

Having been stifled by the weather for nine days, the Sandy softball team finally played a game and dominated Milwaukie for a 9-1 victory Friday March 21 at Milwaukie High School.

'We were just happy to get on the field for an actual game,' Sandy head coach Laurie Smallwood said. 'It has felt like forever since we played a game.'

Courtney Brown led the Pioneers (1-1) with two, two-run home runs and struck six in three innings of relief for the Pioneers. Jaime Paul started the game, pitched four inning of one-hit ball before being pulled after the fourth because of an injury.

'Jaime has been battling a quad strain so I just decided to pull her as a precaution,' Sandy head coach Laurie Smallwood said. 'She pitched amazing, I just decided to let her rest because we are getting close to league and I want her to get healthy.'

The two teams battled back and forth for the first three innings before Sandy opened the scoring in the fourth.

With one out, Sandy's Holly Fenwick hit a line drive down the right field corner that rolled to the fence, allowing Fenwick to stroll into third base standing. Brown then took the first two pitches, and on a 2-0 pitch, hit s towering shot to straight away center for a two run home run.

'She crushed that pitch and drove it to dead-center,' Smallwood said. 'She has been hitting the ball well in practice and took that pitch out.'

Sandy had a chance to get more in the fourth, with runners on second and third with two outs, Cheryl Neumann struck out looking to end the rally.

In the fifth, Rebekah Degner led off with a walk and Lyndsey Freeman followed with a single. Kyza White grounded out to second, advancing the runner to second and third with one out.

'We set up a rally and the girls knew they could blow the game open,' Smallwood said.

Fenwick then hit a one-two pitch down the third baseline allowing Degner and Freeman to score extending the lead to 4-0. Still with only one out, Brown fell behind 0-2 before crushing a shot down the right field line that sailed over the fence for her second two-run home run, extending the Pioneers lead to 6-0.

'Courtney hit two shots and really led this team offensively,' Smallwood said. 'Take that and the fact that she pitched the final three innings and she was very strong for us today.

Paul went four innings, allowing one hit and no runs before giving way to Brown who struck out six in three innings.

Sandy continued to pound the ball in the sixth, when Amanda Coy singled to center and reached second on a throwing error by Milwaukie second baseman Crystal Bowen. After a ground out, Freeman hit a shot to the pitcher that lost control of the ball allowing Freeman to reach first. White then singled in a run followed by Fenwick singling in the eighth run for the pioneers. After a ground out and walk loaded the bases, Amanda Bowen walked in the final run for Sandy.

'We played well and the girls were very focused and executed well today after the rest,' Smallwood said. 'If we continue to play like this and string together hits like this we are going to have a very good season.'

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