OC softballers in the thick of things
The Pioneers blank Clackamas and Milwaukie, and they battle Putnam
OREGON CITY - The Oregon City Pioneers continued in the hunt in the Three Rivers League softball title chase, winning two of three games last week.
The Pioneers recorded shutouts over Clackamas (2-0) and Milwaukie (13-0), and they gave the league-leading Rex Putnam Kingsmen a run for their money in a 2-0 losing effort.
'It's a big difference from last year,' said Oregon City coach Dave Adelhart. 'I think that last year at this time we were something like 3-8….
'The girls are a lot more experienced and they're playing with confidence. We've got a group of seniors who are very experienced in softball and they're pumped up about it.'
The Pioneers (7-3, 3-1) were tied with Clackamas (5-5, 3-1) in second place in the TRL standings - behind Putnam (6-4, 4-0) - through play last week.
They were to conclude the first round of the league season this week, playing Lakeridge (5-4, 2-2) on Monday and hosting West Linn (2-6, 0-4) this afternoon.
Putnam was fortunate to escape with a victory last week. The Pioneers out-hit the visiting Kingsmen 6-3, but they left too many runners stranded.
Oregon City left the bases loaded in the fourth inning. The Pioneers had a runner at third with one out in the second inning; they had runners at first and second with one out in the sixth.
'It was a tough game against a good team,' said Adelhart. 'We walked away from that game feeling like we had competed.'
Putnam scored one unearned run in the fourth on an error, a sacrifice bunt and two singles.
The Kingsmen added a second run in the sixth, scoring on a single, a passed ball, a stolen base and a wild pitch.
Oregon City pitcher McKenzie Marshall had nine strikeouts.
Putnam pitcher Lauren Harvey had 11 strikeouts, but the Pioneers reached her for six hits.
The Pioneers rallied around Marshall's pitching and timely hitting to put Clackamas away.
Marshall yielded only two hits, while striking out eight.
Bri Winkle and Mary Lugar were Oregon City's offensive heroines.
With two down in the fourth, Lugar walked and scored on a double to right-center by Winkle.
Amber Cox led off the sixth inning with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Regan Drake, and scored on a two-out single by Lugar.
The Pioneers stung the ball for 17 hits in the five-inning game with Milwaukie. Marshall struck out 12 batters and walked two in a one-hitter.
Kali Centers singled up the middle in the fourth inning for Milwaukie's only hit.
Sam Genskay (3-for-3, 3 RBI, 2 runs) and Marshall (3-for-3, 2 doubles, 3 runs) headed Oregon City's hit parade.
Rachael Strong had two hits and three RBI.