They up their stock in Capital Conference softball, bagging three straight conference victories

GLADSTONE - Last week was a pretty good week for Gladstone's softball team.

The Gladiators got a real confidence booster early in the week, when they won a 2-1 thriller at 10th-ranked Cascade. And they followed with 32-0 and 10-0 routs in five-inning games with Molalla and Estacada.

Gladstone's win over Cascade was only the second loss in Capital Conference play for the Cougars (10-4, 5-2), who took unbeaten North Marion (10-0, 7-0) to nine innings before yielding on March 21.

'It was a huge win!' Gladstone coach Bruce Mortier said. 'We didn't hit as well as I would have liked, but we played really, really good defense. And it was a victory, so I can't complain.'

All of the game's scoring came in the early innings.

Gladstone scored one run in the top of the first on a base hit and stolen base by Bailie Foxworthy, a passed ball, and a run-scoring groundout by Brittany Kauffman.

Cascade answered in the bottom of the first, scoring on a walk and two base hits.

There was a 15-minute rain delay following Cascade's run, which was scored with only one down. When play resumed, Gladstone pitcher Brittany Wagner fired up and fanned the next two batters, to retire the side.

Kate Santos led off the top of the second with a double. Moriah Spreeman followed with a double down the left-field line to plate Santos for the game-winner.

Cascade threatened again in the third inning, advancing runners to first and third with two down. But Wagner sent the next batter down swinging to retire the side.

Cascade never threatened again.

Each team had only four hits in the hard fought contest.

Wagner fanned eight and walked three.

Cascade pitcher Elayna Van Hess, the 2007 conference pitcher of the year, struck out nine, walked two and hit one batter.

Gladstone's April 10 game with Molalla was a disaster for the Indians early on. They lost their starting pitcher to an injury in the first inning. And the back-up couldn't find the plate.

The Gladiators had 15 hits in the 32-0 rout, but they were also awarded 20 free passes, 16 through walks and four more on hit batsmen.

Gladstone scored 24 runs in the fourth inning on six hits, 14 walks and two hit batters.

Corissa Santos (4-for-5) led the Gladiator hit parade with a grandslam home run, two doubles and 10 RBI.

Kate Santos was 3-for-4 with a RBI-double and four runs scored.

Tamara Feb (2-for-4) rapped a two-run home run and a two-run double, and she scored four times.

Foxworthy (2-for-4) had three RBI and three runs scored.

Gladstone pitcher Jillian Marl fanned 11 and walked three in a 2-hitter.

The Gladiators out-hit Estacada 11-2 in their 10-0 shutout of the Rangers on Friday. And the Gladiators did not strike out once.

Wagner (8 strikeouts, no walks) had a perfect game going until the fifth inning, when she gave up two hits.

Top sluggers for the Gladiators were Feb (3-for-3) with a triple, a double and two RBI; Foxworthy (2-for-4), with two RBI; and Corissa Santos with a two-run double.

The Gladiators played error-free ball in last week's games.

Gladstone (8-2, 5-2) entered play this week tied with Cascade (10-4, 5-2) and Stayton (7-4, 5-2) in second place in the Capital Conference standings.

The Gladiators host La Salle on Friday and they entertain the Cougars in a rematch next Monday.

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