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Blast takes first place at West Linn tourney

by: submitted photo TOURNEY CHAMPS — The Tigard Blast 14U team took first place at the Oregon Fever Invitational.

WEST LINN - The 14U ASA Tigard Blast softball team took first place in the 2011 Aries Apparel - Oregon Fever Invitational Tournament played June 10-11 inn West Linn.

The team went 2-1 in pool play on June 10 before going undefeated and winning three games in bracket play on June 11 en route to winning the championship.

In Game 1, Tigard beat the Sandy Sliderz 5-2. Tigard jumped in front early scoring a one run in each of the second and third innings before adding three more in the fifth inning to put the game away.

The Blast offensive attack was led by doubles by Alyssa Overcash and Emily Sorem, singles by Emilee Heyden and Dena Emmons, and two singles each by Emily Jesser and Alexa Kaplan. Sorem got the pitching win, scattering four hits while striking out 14.

The Tigard Blast lost a tough Game 2, falling 11-10 to the Oregon Breeze. Offensively, Ramsey Hare led the Blast with three hits and three RBIs, to go along with two each by Alexa Kaplan, Sorem and Heyden. Emmons, Jesser, Tanna Baggenstos and Katy Warren also added singles.

In Game 3, the Blast beat a tough Lower Columbia Threat team from Washington, 4-1. The game was scoreless until the bottom of the sixth inning when the Threat took the lead scoring a run on their only hit of the game.

Overcash and Kaplan had hits early in the game, but the Blast was held scoreless until scoring four runs in the top of the seventh inning. Baggenstos led off the seventh inning with a single just before Warren reached base on an error.

Baggenstos then scored on a bunt single by Emmons. Johnna Malafouris followed also reaching safely on a bunt to load the bases for Hare with the game tied 1-1. Hare then ripped a shot deep into the gap in left-center field for a bases-clearing double. Sorem slammed the door shut on the Threat in the bottom of the seventh to get the win. She threw a one-hitter, striking out nine.

The Blast started the day on Sunday beating the Elite Fastpitch 2-0. Tigard's clutch hitting allowed the team to score two runs on only six hits. Hare had two more hits including another double, to go along with hits by Sorem, Kaplan and Emmons.

The Blast scored a run in the first on singles by Hare and Kaplan and walks by Overcash and Sorem. Later they added a run in the third on a double and a single by Hare and Sorem, respectively. Sorem got the pitching win giving up two hits.

In the semifinals, Tigard faced its cross-town rivals, the Tualatin Timberwolves. The game was tight, with no score until the top of the third, when Tigard scored a run on one of Emmons' two singles.

Emmons later scored on a sacrifice fly to right field by Kaplan. The Blast scored again in the sixth inning on a leadoff single by Overcash, who later scored on a RBI single to center by Heyden.

However, with the end of the game drawing near, the Timberwolves came storming back. Tualatin led off the seventh inning with a single and a double and a run off Kaplan, who had a thrown a one-hitter until that time.

With no outs, a run in and the tying run at third, Sorem came in to relieve Kaplan. With the game on the line, Sorem struck out the first batter. Then with one out, the cleanup hitter popped up a bunt that Sorem caught and threw to third for a double play to end the game. Kaplan got the win scattering three hits and striking out 6 prior to giving way to Sorem who got the save.

In the championship game, played late in the day after a lengthy break, the Blast faced the tournament host team, the Oregon Fever.

Tigard took an early lead scoring a run in the bottom of the second on a single by Overcash and a double to the gap in left center by Heyden. The Fever tied the game in the top of the fourth scoring one run on two singles, an infield error, and a walk.

An inning later the Blast regained the lead 2-1, scoring a run on a leadoff walk by Warren who later scored on an infield single by Hare. Overall, the Blast scored their two runs on only four clutch hits and five walks including one by Olivia Komin late in the championship game. Sorem got the win scattering six hits.