Lakeridge gets the best of Lions again

by: Matthew Sherman, 
Rhianna Russell winds up to deliver a pitch during last Friday’s 10-4 loss to Lakeridge.

After getting themselves back in the playoff picture with four straight victories over Milwaukie and Oregon City, the West Linn softball team ran into a Lakeridge squad that suddenly can't seem to lose.

The Pacers have racked up a pair of wins over Lake Oswego and another against Clackamas and, heading into last week's game, were tied for second place.

When the two teams met earlier, a pitcher's duel took shape with the Pacers eking out a 1-0 victory. This time, Lakerdige's bats showed up in a 10-4 victory. The game was close up until the fifth inning when the Pacers scored four times to pull away.

West Linn got on the board first. Taylor Brooke led off with a bunt single and stole second base. She moved to third on a single by McKenzie Domann and Kylie Crawford plated Brooke with an RBI single.

Pitcher Rhianna Russell was solid through the first two innings but, in the third, Lakeridge drew three walks. After a pitching change, Melonie Walsworth hit an RBI single and a two-out double by Zoe Teton gave the Pacers a 3-1 lead.

That lead held up until the top of the fifth inning when, with two runners on, Crawford came through for the Lions again with a two-run triple which tied the game.

But the Pacers would respond quickly. Lakeridge belted five hits in the bottom of the inning to take a lead it wouldn't give up.

Lakeridge pitcher Natalie Rose struck out the side in the top of the sixth inning and the Pacers scored three more runs to give them an even bigger cushion.

West Linn scored another run in the seventh inning when Crawford hit another RBI double, giving her all four of the Lions' RBIs in the game.

West Linn is entering a crucial stretch with important games against Clackamas, Lake Oswego and Lakeridge on the horizon. The Lions are currently tied with Clackamas for fourth place in the league but have two games left to play against the Cavaliers.