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Tigers, Wolves saved in league softball openers

It wasn't an easy way to open Pacific Conference play - not for the Tigers and not for the Timberwolves.

The Tigard High School softball team had to open against defending league champion McMinnville. Tualatin started league action by having to play defending Class 6A state champion Forest Grove.

The Tigers and Wolves battled the respective defending champs tough, but both local teams ended up falling by one run in games played on Monday.

Tualatin grabbed a 1-0 lead over Forest Grove, but the Vikings rallied to post a 2-1 victory in a game played at Forest Grove High School. Tigard lost 1-0 at McMinnville.

'We had our chances,' Tigard coach Gary Edwards said. 'But they're a tough squad.'

The Tigers, getting a single by Krista McCord and walks to Chelsea Biglow and Ashley Suter, loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the first inning. However, McMinnville standout pitcher Anna Bertrand got an inning-ending strikeout to get out of the jam.

The Grizzlies scored the game's only run on a solo home run by Alyssa Nichols in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Bertrand had 13 strikeouts in the game and limited the Tigers to two hits, singles by Suter and McCord. Suter, pitching for the Tigers, struck out 11.

The loss gives the Tigers an overall record of 7-2-1 while McMinnville improved to 10-1.

Tualatin, in the game at Forest Grove, took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning when sophomore Meghan Cichoke scored. The Vikings came back to score a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to get the victory.

Cichoke had two hits in the game for the Wolves while Amelia Bywater and Janelle Cromie added one hit apiece.

The Wolves moved to 3-7 on the season.