St. Helens still has slim chance of making playoffs
The St. Helens Lady Lions had a nearly improbable week of softball, pulling off a 2-1 win over Sherwood, coming close against the conference's second-place team, then leading Wilsonville for four innings.
The squad could only come up with enough magic against Sherwood, although they had as many or more hits than each team they faced.
The result was that St. Helens went into this week of action needing wins in three of their four remaining games to nab a playoff berth. It's a daunting task with league-leading Glencoe on the schedule, but still possible.
'We just couldn't get the key hit or execute at clutch times,' St. Helens coach Jeff Edwards said of the two losses. 'We thought going in that if we had a .500 year we would be successful, and I guess from that aspect we are, but we started to build expectations.'
Against Sherwood, the Lady Lions played about as good a softball game as they could against solid pitching. St. Helens pitcher Heather Heimuller went the distance on the mound and gave up just two hits in the contest, striking out four. She walked just two.
The Lady Lions got their first runner on base in the bottom of the first when lead-off batter Ashley Ricker was hit by a pitch. Danielle Harcourt bunted to advance Ricker to second, and then Emily Monroe bunted and Ricker scored on an errant throw to first.
The Lady Lions added another run in the fourth. Tasha Sharp reached base on a single, and a bunt moved her to third. Sharp advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on another.
Sherwood got their lone run with a single, then a towering triple over the left fielder's head by pitcher Brooke Davis. Krista Haflich pulled off a big defensive play at second to end the inning.
'We dropped down five bunts against one of the top pitchers in the state,' St. Helens coach Jeff Edwards said.
Against Hilhi, St. Helens had their chances, but this time was on the losing end of a 2-1 game.
St. Helens had threatened in the first inning with singles from Ricker and Harcourt, but a double play and a strikeout ended the inning.
Hillsboro scored one of their runs in the bottom of the first with a double and a single.
The Lady Lions knotted the score in the top of the fourth inning. Allison Jensen, Heimuller, and Melissa Ralls all walked to load the bases. Jensen scored on a passed ball, but St. Helens was unable to get any more runs home. Infield hits by Amy Gainer and Ricker in the seventh for St. Helens made it interesting to the end.
A walk, sacrifice bunt, and an overthrow on a steal to third allowed Hilhi to score what turned out to be the winning run in the bottom of the fifth.
Both teams had six hits in the game, and the overthrow at third was the only error.
St. Helens pounded out 10 hits against Wilsonville, but could push just three runs across the plate. Three errors by the Lady Lions proved costly.
St. Helens had the lead in the contest for the first half of the game. Ricker led off the game with a double off the left-field fence, and scored when Harcourt singled. They scored another un in the top of the second. Gainer started things with a single and then Ralls walked. Kali Smith followed with a single to score Gainer.
Wilsonville scored their first run in the bottom of the first with a single, a stolen base, and another single. They put over four in the fifth. A single, an error, and a double tied up the game. Three singles pushed three more runs over and the Wildcats led 5-2.
Wilsonville added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth off a single, a walk, and a throwing error.
The Lady Lions scored their last run when Harcourt tripled, then scored on a grounder to second by Monroe.
'We left too many base runners and the ball seemed to bounce their way,' Edwards said. 'We let them hang around, their bats got hot, and it was over.'
St. Helens hosted Century on Monday, Liberty on Tuesday, and is to travel to Glencoe and Sherwood on Wednesday and Friday.
Scores by innings:
St. Helens 2, Sherwood 1
Sherwood 000 010 0-1 2 1
St. Helens 100 100 x-2 2 1
Brooke Davis and Smith; Heather Heimuller and Tasha Sharp.
Hillsboro 2, St. Helens 1
St. Helens 000 100 0-1 6 1
Hillsboro 100 010 x-2 6 0
Heather Heimuller and Tasha Sharp; n/a
Wilsonville 7, St. Helens 3
St. Helens 110 000 1-3 10 3
Wilsonville 000 142 x-7 9 2
Heather Heimuller, Danielle Harcourt (5) and Tasha Sharp; n/a
(Through May 2)
Glencoe 16 1
Hillsboro 13 4
Century 13 5
Sherwood 9 9
St. Helens 7 10
Parkrose 5 12
Wilsonville 4 14
Liberty 2 14