Apollos take Wolves to school
Sunset scores 10 times in the seventh to rout perennial power Tualatin
TUALATIN - A 10-run seventh inning all but finished Tualatin, but the Sunset softball team still had plenty to play for.
The Apollos led 11-0 and the '0' for Tualatin also meant zero hits.
Though it took a couple clutch catches, Sunset nailed down the no-hitter and picked up the 11-0 win last Wednesday at Tualatin High School to stay undefeated at 3-0 with a roster laden with underclassmen.
Sophomore Amanda Najdek pitched the first five innings, striking out three with no walks and allowing just two baserunners.
'As soon as I got going, the adrenaline took over,' Najdek said. 'The longer I pitch, the warmer I get.'
Sophomore Anna Miller picked up where Najdek left off, closing out the no-hitter by facing the minimum in two innings of relief. Miller walked her first batter in the sixth, but catcher Jessy Downey gunned
out an attempted steal. Miller retired the next five batters with the defense doing its part.
Shortstop Meghan Lyons fielded a groundout and caught a sharp liner for the final outs of the sixth then spurred the 10-run seventh with two runs and two RBIs.
After the scoring burst, the Apollos went back to work on defense with left fielder Sierra Anderson snagging a hard liner for the first out. Tualatin's Janelle Cromie followed with a blast to right field that sophomore Kristina Trindle snared over her head with an outstretched glove. Miller capped it with a strikeout looking.
'I'm glad to have our outfielders,' Najdek said. 'You have to have a defense behind you.'
Sunset got all the offense it needed in a 1-run second then piled on insurance in the seventh with 10 runs on four hits, three walks, three hit batters and four Tualatin errors.
Lyons led off with a walk and moved to third on Trindle's single and a Tualatin error. Sophomore Sara DelBalzo's sacrifice fly plated Lyons and Trindle also crossed on a throwing error for a 3-0 lead.
Senior Amanda McCoy had an infield single, went to second when Downey was hit by a pitch, and scored on a delayed steal and another Tualatin throwing error.
Sophomores Anderson and Julia Johnson drew back-to-back walks to load the bases. Senior Brittany Boyd was hit by a pitch to push across Downey and make it 5-0. Lyons then lined a two-run single into left-center and DelBalzo did likewise into right for a 9-0 lead. Sunset tacked on two more runs off an error then finished the no-hitter.
Four of Najdek's five innings went 1-2-3 as she peppered the corners, keeping the ball low and in the strike zone.
'Just hitting my spots was the key,' Najdek said. 'I threw a couple rise balls.'
Sunset took a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Boyd laced a single into right, went to second on a passed ball and scored when Johnson drove a stand-up double into the left-center field gap. Hanna Boyd's single sent Boyd to third, but a fly out ended the frame.
The Wolves tried to respond in the bottom of the inning. Cromie reached on a hard grounder off the shortstop's glove and beat the throw to second on Emily Tietje's sacrifice bunt, giving Tualatin runners on first and second with no outs. But a fly out and two groundouts kept the Wolves from pushing a run across.
Najdek and Miller combined to retire the side in order the next five innings as the young team improved to 3-0 before losing 5-2 on Monday in the opener of its spring break tournament in North Medford.
'It's been going good so far,' Najdek said. 'We just have to keep working harder. We can't get ahead of ourselves.'