Falcons are figuring things out

Coach George says the bats are coming around

MILWAUKIE - La Salle High's baseball team has gotten off to a rough start this year, going 1-5, and getting blown out 11-1 in their Capital Conference opener with North Marion.

And they lost one of their top pitchers, junior Nick Dieringer, to an injury in last week's spring break trip to Arizona. Dieringer incurred a break in his tibia when he took a line drive in a March 25 game with Columbine, Colorado.

The Falcons fell in all three of their spring-break games last week, losing to Chatfield, Colorado 23-5, to Columbine 13-4, and to Standley Lake, Colorado 10-9. They defeated The Latin School of Chicago 7-3 last Friday. But no umpire showed and the contest was ruled a non-counting scrimmage.

Despite the lackluster showing, La Salle coach Chris George said he was not about to give up on his Falcons.

'We're starting to hit the ball pretty well,' said George, 'and I think I've figured out what our lineup is going to be.'

The Falcons won't have the pitching depth George had hoped for, but he said he still believes his charges have the talent to battle Gladstone, North Marion, Molalla and Cascade for one of the top spots in the conference.

'We have the talent to be a state playoff qualifier,' George said. 'But the kids are going to have to play at a high level every time out.'

George sees seniors Mike Oborn and juniors Shane Brady and Bobby Ragasa as his top prospects on the hill, with juniors Joe O'Neill and Kramer Croisant as capable relievers.

Billy Wainwright returns behind the plate.

Croisant and Mychal Baseel will share time at first base.

Ragasa returns to second, Tony Titrud to shortstop and O'Neill to third.

Cameron Mitchell is back in centerfield. George says he's got several other players still battling for starting roles in the outfield.

The Falcons (1-5, 0-1) had four games scheduled in the first four days of this week. They play at Gladstone today and they travel to Estacada on Thursday.

La Salle will be better in softball

MILWAUKIE - La Salle's softball team will be improved over last year, when they didn't win a game.

But whether or not that will mean a Capital Conference playoff berth, La Salle coach Mike Drewett is unsure.

'I think we'll be more competitive,' said Drewett. 'But we're still pretty young. Nine of the 11 players on varsity are freshmen or sophomores, and we've only got two seniors.'

Returning with starting experience are sophomore pitcher/outfielder Chelsea Presnall, senior utility player Megan Kieres, senior shortstop Stevanie Medearis, sophomore outfielders Ashley Nunn and Melissa Merrigan, sophomore catcher Kelby Goldspink, and sophomore second baseman Marissa Cereghino.

Presnall will share pitching duties with freshman Tristan Payne. Both players keep the opponents' batters honest by throwing a variety of pitches for strikes.

Heading into spring break, the Falcons had played only one complete game, a 13-3 loss to North Marion. Nunn and Cereghino both hit doubles for La Salle in the loss, but the Huskies hit the ball hard and often to break the game open.

'It's going to be a tough league,' said Drewett. 'North Marion and Gladstone are probably at the top of the league, but Cascade is right there with them.'