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Sandy takes out Marist in extra-inning thriller

5A SOFTBALL - Becca Degner connects for the game-winning single in the eighth
by: David Ball Sandy teammates celebrate with Becca Degner, right, after she knocked in the winning run with a line-drive single in the eighth inning Wednesday.

CLACKAMAS - Sandy's softball went extra innings to beat Marist 4-3 in Wednesday's opening round of the OSAA Class 5A state playoffs.

The Pioneers loaded the bases with no one out in the eighth inning, setting the stage for Becca Degner's winning line-drive through the middle. Rachel Rutledge started the rally by reaching base safely when Marist's first baseman lost her grip on the ball.

Trailing 3-2, Sandy scored the tying run on a single by Megan Luebbert in the sixth inning. Taylor Copher connected for a two-run homer that put Sandy ahead in the first inning.

The No. 4 Pioneers will face top-seeded The Dalles-Wahtonka on the road in Friday's quarterfinals. The Eagle-Indians scored a mercy-rule 10-0 win over Lebanon in their first-round game.

'You don't like to look too far ahead, but it's two more wins and we're playing on the field at Oregon State (5A title site),' Sandy coach Laurie Smallwood said. 'I feel we can put this team out there with anyone and have a chance to come out with the win.'

Rainy weather conditions moved Wednesday's game to the artificial turf at Hoodview Park in Clackamas.

Look for extended softball playoff coverage in the June 1 edition of The Sandy Post.