Softball: Tualatin has its opportunities, but falls 2-1 in eight innings to Clackamas
by: Dan Brood, READY FOR ACTION — Tualatin shortstop Jordan Skinner (left) awaits the throw as Clackamas’ Maddie Taylor heads toward second base in Friday’s game.

TUALATIN - The Timberwolves had the pitching they needed.

Their defense was also strong.

But, when it came to offense, the Wolves didn't get the key hits they needed.

The Tualatin softball team, despite having its opportunities, fell 2-1 in eight innings to Clackamas in a non-league game played Friday under rainy conditions at Tualatin High School.

'We haven't been able to put our hits together,' Timberwolf senior Natalie Taylor said after the game. 'We have the talent, but we haven't shown it yet. We just need to get better. We need to focus and work hard.'

With the loss, Tualatin moved to 4-4 on the season. Clackamas improved to 4-3 with the victory.

'We're just struggling when it comes to scoring,' Tualatin coach Dan Roisom said. 'Part of that is because we've had zero practice days. We've been playing games every day.'

Clackamas wasted little time in grabbing a 1-0 lead in Friday's game. Cavalier freshman Kathryn Persaud led off the top of the first inning with a single to left field. She moved to third on Alley Noble's double and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Ariel Rockwell.

The Wolves answered back with a run of their own in the bottom of the first inning. Junior Jordan Skinner led off the frame with a bloop double to left field. She moved up to third on a groundout by Gina Rawls and then scored on a line-drive single to center by Taylor.

Taylor would steal third base, but, later in the inning, she was caught in a rundown between third and home.

Tualatin had its chances to break the 1-1 in the next few innings. In the third frame, Rawls had a two-out infield single and then she stole second base, but she was left stranded there.

In the fourth inning, Rachel Manhart drew a one-out walk and Amelia Bywater followed with a single, advancing Manhart to third. But, Manhart was thrown out at home on Hannah Buschert's grounder to short.

In the bottom of the seventh, Danielle Roisom walked with two outs and she stole second, but she was left there.

Clackamas got what turned out to be the game-winning run in the top of the eighth when Persaud led off with a double to center and ended up scoring on a single by Ariel Rockwell.

Tualatin tried to answer back in the bottom of the eighth. Taylor hit a two-out single to center. But she was called for leaving first base early on a stolen-base attempt, ending the contest.

Senior Bethany Dempster pitched well for the Timberwolves in the contest. In seven and a third innings of work she gave up two runs on three hits while striking out seven and walking two.

Tualatin had five hits in the game, two by Taylor and one each by Skinner, Rawls and Bywater.

'We have potential,' Taylor said. 'I think people think we're not going to be very good this year. Our goal is to prove everyone wrong.'

Prior to the loss to Clackamas, Tualatin scored a 2-0 win over Glencoe in a non-league game played last Thursday at Tualatin.

Buschert picked up the shutout pitching win, giving up four hits while striking out five and walking one. Catcher Emily Tietje threw out a pair Glencoe runners on stolen base attempts.

Danielle Roisom and Taylor each had RBI singles - bringing home Brittany Reichard and Skinner - in the Wolves' two-run sixth inning.

On March 21, Tualatin scored a 3-2, nine-inning home win over Barlow with Dempster picking up the pitching win. Skinner and Taylor each had key hits in Tualatin's two-run bottom of the ninth.

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