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Wildcats win 6-3 thriller over Timberwolves

Westview uses a three-run seventh to take out Tualatin 6-3 on Monday
by: JAIME VALDEZ, WINNERS — Kayla Turner (center) celebrates her first pitch lead-off home run in the  top of the seventh inning of her team’s 6-3 win at Tualatin.

TUALATIN - What started with a scare ended with a go-ahead score for the Westview softball team.

Leadoff hitter Jenna Krogh got the wind knocked out of her and collapsed after diving headfirst into second on a steal attempt in the first inning. Krogh was taken away in an ambulance for an inauspicious start to the Wildcats' game at Tualatin High School.

Westview went on to score two runs in the first and another in the third before the Timberwolves rallied in the fourth to tie the game 3-3. It remained that way until Kayla Turner drove the first pitch of the seventh inning over the left field fence for a solo home run. The Wildcats tacked on two more runs and went on to a 6-3 win and improve to 6-3 on the season.

The early lead and subsequent victory was a bounce back for No. 9-ranked Westview, who went 1-3 at the North Medford tournament over Spring Break.

'We've been struggling a little bit, but we broke through,' Turner said. 'We came together as a team. Getting that first run then a couple more after really helped.'

What didn't help was a start that saw Krogh taken away on a stretcher. The center fielder led off the game by beating out a bunt single. She stole second, uncomfortably sliding headfirst into the bag and getting the wind knocked out of her. After quickly bouncing up and taking a few steps, she collapsed to the ground, jamming the helmet's mask into her face and lying still for a few moments.

Krogh regained conciousness and was taken to the hospital for a check-up and stitches to her mouth caused by the impact.

'It's always hard to see a teammate go down,' first baseman Jordan Hopkins said. 'We support her 110 percent. We needed to bounce back and not let that hurt us.'

The Wildcats did with Hopkins providing the big blow. After Kellie Struder reached on a fielder's choice that sent Krogh's pinch-runner Jade Kealinohomoku to third, Hopkins drove a 1-2 pitch into the right-center field gap that one-hopped to the fence for a two-run double and 2-0 lead.

Westview starting pitcher Dylan Mizer no-hit the Wolves through three innings and got additional run support in the third. Kealinohomoku led off by ripping a first-pitch single into left. After Struder walked, Ashley Garcia's sacrifice bunt moved each up a base. Hopkins, who had four RBI's, followed with a groundout that scored Kealinohomoku for a 3-0 lead.

'It's very important to get a good lead at the beginning,' Hopkins said. 'This team is very good at doing that.'

Tualatin finally broke through in the fourth against Mizer, who struck out nine in a four-hit, complete-game effort. Natalie Taylor drilled a 2-2 pitch over the left-field fence for a leadoff home run and Hannah Buschert later smacked a two-run double to deep center. Mizer escaped further trouble by striking out the next two batters to strand Buschert and leave the score tied at 3-3.

It remained that way until the seventh when Turner drove a first-pitch homer to left field for a 4-3 lead.

'I just wanted to put the ball in play,' Turner said. 'I didn't expect that. It feels good though.'

The next batter, Nicole Chombeau, was hit in the head by a pitch. Pinchrunner Brooke Cole went to second on a passed ball and to third on Struder's hard hit up the middle and off the pitcher's foot for an infield single. Struder purposefully got in a pickle and Cole raced home from third, sliding in just ahead of the catcher's tag.

Ashley Garcia collected her second hit of the game on a single up the middle that moved Struder to third, scoring later on a groundout by Hopkins for a 6-3 lead.

Tualatin's Rachel Manhart beat out an infield single with one out in the bottom of the seventh and moved to second on a passed ball, but a foul-tip strikeout and a groundout ended the game.

Westview (7-3) beat Newberg 11-1 on Tuesday in its final non-conference tune-up before opening Metro League play Monday at Aloha.