Softball: The Tigers battle the state's No. 2-ranked team tough for 9 shutout innings
by: DAN BROOD, YOU’RE OUT — Tigard third baseman Chelsea Biglow (right) tags out a McMinnville runner in Friday’s game.

TIGARD - The Tigard High School softball team says it can compete with anyone.

The Tigers, for nine innings at least, showed it could certainly compete with state power McMinnville. But they couldn't quite keep up with the Grizzlies for a 10th frame.

No. 2-ranked McMinnville, scoring three unearned runs in the top of the 10th, scored a 3-0 win over the Tigers in a Pacific Conference game played Friday at Tigard High School.

'We showed we can really hang with them,' Tigard sophomore third baseman Chelsea Biglow said. 'We just need to tighten up a few things.'

With the extra-inning victory, McMinnville improved to 6-0 in league play while also moving to 15-1 on the season. Tigard moved to 2-4 in league play and to 9-5-1 on the season with the setback.

'We're just young,' Tigard coach Gary Edwards said. '(Tigard junior) Ashley (Suter) pitched well, and we battled them. We can hang with anyone.'

McMinnville rode the pitching arm of junior Anna Bertrand to the victory. Bertrand, in a 10-inning complete game performance, gave up just one hit, an infield single to Biglow, while striking out 20 and walking one.

'She's tough. She throws all around the plate,' Biglow said of Bertrand. 'And we didn't make good decisions.'

Tigard also got a strong pitching performance from Suter. Before leaving the game with two outs in the top of the 10th, Suter allowed just four hits while striking out 10 batters.

'Ashley was so good today,' Biglow said.

The Tigers also had strong play on defense, especially from freshman right fielder Erin Nyberg, who threw out a pair of Grizzlies at first base after fielding hard-hit balls to the outfield. Tigard freshman catcher Kelsey Kaelin threw out McMinnville's Chauntee Sublet at second base on a steal attempt and sophomore center fielder Katie Aden threw out a Grizzly runner trying to advance from second to third base on an overthrow.

'We're working hard on hitting,' Biglow said. 'That's the last piece of the puzzle.'

Biglow was the only Tiger to reach base. She drew a two-out walk in the bottom of the first inning. In the fourth inning, she reached base on a one-out infield single off the third baseman's glove. Biglow then stole second base with two outs, but Bertrand got out of the jam with an inning-ending strikeout.

McMinnville didn't have things much better for the first nine innings of the contest. The Grizzlies did threaten in the eighth inning, putting runners on second and third with one out, but Suter got a strikeout and an inning-ending pop out to senior shortstop Heidi Pizer.

However, McMinnville was able to break through in the 10th. Jocelynn Robins started things with a one-out single. Bertrand then drew a walk and Jordaun Williams was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out.

Suter then got a strikeout for the second out of the frame. But the next batter, Alyssa Nichols, lofted a fly ball that Tigard wasn't able to handle in the outfield. Two runs came in on the error, giving the Grizzlies a 2-0 lead. Williams then scored on a passed ball to give McMinnville a 3-0 lead.

Bertrand then put the Tigers down in order in the bottom of the 10th to end the game.

'It's just too bad,' Edwards said. 'But the girls are playing hard. We're getting there.'

The Tigers were rained out of their game at Forest Grove both Monday and Tuesday.

The Tigers were slated to host rival Tualatin in a league game on Wednesday. Results of that game weren't available when the Times went to press.

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