Lady Bowmen get their bats going, but fall just short

Softball: Century holds off Sherwood to get the 5-4 win in the NWOC contest
by: JAIME VALDEZ, HOME RUN HITTER — Sherwood’s Brittany Morales (13) is congratulated by teammates after belting a home run in the Bowmen’s game with Century.

SHERWOOD - A day after getting one-hit, the Sherwood softball team smacked the ball around in Thursday's game against Century.

The Bowmen weren't able to string them together, though, and fell 5-4 to the Jaguars at Sherwood High School. After Glencoe held them to the lone hit on Wednesday, the Bowmen broke out with eight Thursday against Century, including six for extra bases. But it wasn't enough to overcome a 5-1 deficit as Sherwood lost its fourth straight in Northwest Oregon Conference play to drop its league record to 2-4 and 6-5 overall.

'We're hitting the perfect balls, but the defense is standing there catching them,' Sherwood catcher Brittany Morales said. 'We're doing fine. We're still focusing and working hard. We're going to pull through it.'

Morales did her best to snap the Bowmen out of the funk. The sophomore went 2-for-3 with a home run, double, stolen base, run, and three RBI. She drilled a first-pitch shot to dead center field that careened off the fielder's glove, bounced off the top of the fence and over for a two-run homer that cut Sherwood's deficit in half at 5-3 in the fifth inning.

'I wasn't hitting too well at the beginning of the season,' Morales said. 'I worked hard and focused on my hands and it paid off. That was really exciting.'

Two batters later, second baseman Cora Schaefer drilled a stand-up double over the left fielder's head that one-hopped the fence. Schaefer scored shortly later on an overthrow of first base by the shortstop on Brooke Davis' grounder.

Davis moved to third on another error, but was later stranded there after Century second baseman Katie Powell made a sliding stop of Elisha Hartwig's grounder up the middle and threw her out by a step for the final out to preserve the Jaguars' 5-4 lead.

Sherwood went down 1-2-3 in the sixth and got a two-out single in the seventh from Schaefer, who went 3-for-4, before right fielder Ashley Lutter tracked down Jackie Walck's deep liner with a running catch to end the game.

A season after winning the Tri-Valley League at 15-0, the Bowmen are finding Class 5A to be a different beast.

'The kids are realizing they have to work harder to compete at the 5A level,' Sherwood coach Lance Gilgan said. 'Anybody in this league can beat anybody. We'll be all right. It's a long season.'

Davis started in the circle for the Bowmen and held Century hitless through three innings. She was given a 1-0 lead in the second when Alyssa Troccoli, who went 2-for-3 with a pair of runs, drove a stand-up double to deep left field and scored when Morales followed by lining an RBI-double into the left-center gap.

Davis walked the first two batters of the fourth and that proved costly as both Pheobe Robinson and Brittne Stephens scored on Ashley Worthey-Ennis' two-run triple into the right-center gap. Worthey-Ennis later scored on Jaimee Cannon's chopper back to the pitcher, sliding in just ahead of Davis' throw to the plate for a 3-1 Century lead.

The Jaguars tacked on two more runs in the fifth off Sherwood reliever Hannah Mueller. Powell hit a leadoff double and scored on Robinson's one-out double. Robinson went to third on a dropped third strike then scored on an errant throw to make it 5-1.

Sherwood cut the gap in half on Morales' blast and continued to hit the ball hard, but couldn't pull even.

Schaefer had three hits for the Bowmen, including a pair of doubles while Walck, Troccoli and Morales also doubled. Century, which improved to 3-3 in league, had just four hits in the game.