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Timberwolves roll in Round 1

Softball: Tualatin's hitting attack leads the way in a 14-0 victory over Westview
by: DAN BROOD HOME SAFE — Tualatin sophomore Maddie Powelson slides safely home while Westview catcher Kayla Luken reaches for the ball during Monday’s state playoff contest. The Timberwolves won 14-0.

TUALATIN - In its last game of the regular season, a 1-0 loss to Century, the Tualatin High School softball team struggled to get their bats going.

But, in Monday's state playoff opener, the determined Timberwolves had their offense roaring.

Wow, were the Wolves' bats roaring.

Tualatin pounded out 14 hits on its way to scoring a 14-0, five-inning win over Westview in a Class 6A state playoff first-round game played Monday at Tualatin High School.

'Now we're hitting,' Tualatin junior catcher Emilee Symonds said with a smile following the victory. 'We worked on hitting a lot in practice and got our confidence up.'

'We started strong and kept going,' added senior MG Bywater, who had a big game for the Wolves both at the plate and in the pitching circle.

Westview, the No. 5 team out of the Metro League, finished its season with a final overall record of 10-17. Tualatin, the No. 2 team from the Pacific Conference, improved to 21-6 on the season and advanced to host Canby Wednesday in a state playoff second-round game. Results of Wednesday's playoff contest weren't available when the Times went to press.

'This was big for us,' Bywater said of the victory. 'It was our first playoff win.'

Actually, it's the first playoff victory for the Timberwolves since the 2007 Tualatin team won its first two state playoff contests.

And this year's Wolves made sure, rather quickly, that they would get back on the postseason winning track.

Tualatin, in Monday's contest, jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning.

Senior Shelby Burke got things started for the Wolves, leading off the bottom of the opening frame with a single. Burke moved up to second on a grounder by freshman Beth Fanger and then she scored the game's first run on a line-drive single by Symonds.

Bywater followed with a double to left field, driving in Symonds to up the early margin to 2-0. Sophomore Maddie Powelson then singled to right field, plating Bywater to make the score 3-0.

Junior Taryn O'Neill then drew a walk to help keep the big inning going. Then, with two outs in the frame, sophomore Britta Hall tripled to deep right field, driving in both Powelson and O'Neill to up the lead to 5-0.

Tualatin kept the pedal down in the second inning, scoring five more times in the frame to take a double-digit lead.

Fanger ignited this big inning with a one-out single to left field. Fanger stole second base and then scored on Bywater's two-out double to center field, making the score 6-0.

Powelson then walked and, after a double steal, O'Neill singled in both Bywater and Powelson to push the lead to 8-0.

Tualatin sophomore Shelby Doering then stepped up had what may have been the biggest of many big hits in the game for Wolves. She smacked a fly ball deep to center, just over the reach of Westview senior center fielder Chelsea Eytel.

With the ball bouncing to the fence in center, Doering sprinted around the bases for a two-run, inside-the-park home run that gave Tualatin a 10-0 lead.

The Wolves scored four more runs in the bottom of the third inning. Junior Morgan Windhorn and Burke led off the inning with back-to-back singles. They both came around to score on Symonds' one-out double down the right-field line.

Doering knocked in freshman courtesy runner Courtney Valero and Powelson later in the inning to make the score 14-0.

After a scoreless fourth inning, Tualatin junior Jordyn Skinner, pitching in relief, put Westview down in order in the top of the fifth frame to wrap up the 14-0 victory.

'That was a lot of fun,' Symonds said.

'It definitely was a big booster for us,' Bywater added. 'And everyone got to play. That was good.'

Bywater and Skinner combined to allow just one hit, an infield single by Westview freshman Christy Garrett leading off the third inning, while striking out six and walking two in the shutout performance.

Burke, Fanger, Symonds, Bywater and Doering each had a pair of hits to lead the balanced Tualatin offensive attack.

Tualatin, if it won it second-round state playoff game with Canby on Wednesday, will travel to play at either Roseburg or Crater Friday in a state-playoff quarterfinal game.

The state playoff semifinal round is set for Tuesday.