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Renegades headed back to nationals

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Alex Scott, third baseman for Lake Oswego 16U Renegades softball team, tags out a runner during the national qualifier tournament that was held in late June in Boise. The Renegades finished second in that tournament and qualified for a trip to the Western Nationals, which will held in Salem in August.

The Lake Oswego 16U Renegades earned a berth to the 2007 ASA Western 16B Nationals, which will be held in Salem in August.

The team placed second at the national qualifier tournament that was held in late June in Boise, Idaho. The Renegades were the only Oregon team at the 16B national qualifier, going 5-2 for the weekend.

The first of three games on Saturday started on a high note, as the Renegades beat the Idaho Bullets 9-4. Pitcher Natalie Rose struck out nine for the complete game victory.

Rose received offensive help from Hanna Steger (who was 3-for-5, a stolen base and an RBI); Paje Morrow (3-for-4 with a double); and Alex Scott (2-for-5 with a triple).

The Renegades lost the second game to the Twin Falls Terror, last year's Idaho state champion, 3-0. The Renegades had several opportunities to score with Lexi Graybeal and Mackenzie Griffin each being thrown out at the plate in close plays.

Big hitters for the Renegades were Steger and Scott, each going 2-for-3. The last game on Saturday was once again versus the Idaho Bullets. A loss would have sent the Renegades home. This time it was much closer as the Renegades needed all seven innings to squeak out a 5-4 victory.

Morrow and Rose combined for the win. The Bullets scored one in the 3rd, but the Renegades came back with two in the bottom of the third. The Bulletts went back up on top in the 4th, scoring two. The Renegades scored two more in the 6th to go back up on top, only to see the Bullets tie it in the 7th. The Renegades won it with a run in the bottom of the 7th.

That set up a 8 a.m. game on Sunday when the Renegades bested the Diamond Bandits 9-0 behind the combined pitching of Rose and Morrow.

The top hitter was Taylor Ramsey, who was 2-for-3 with two runs scored, a double and an RBI. Chelsea Canlas, Rose, Melonie Walsworth, Morrow and Graybeal all contributed a hit and an RBI to the cause.

That set up a rematch Twin Falls Terror and this time the Renegades easily prevailed by a 17-10 score. Every Renegade scored in that one.

The championship game followed versus the home team, the Boise Blast. Rose gave up five hits while going the distance in a 4-2 win. Ramsey went 3-for-4 with two RBI.

Since that was the Blast's first loss, a second game was needed to determine the champion.

The Renegades had already played three games in six hours but they gave the Blast a competitive game until the 5th inning of the final contest. The game was tied 2-2 through the fourth, but the Blast eventually prevailed 7-3.

There were many Renegade defensive stars throughout the weekend, particularly the outfield of Griffin, Graybeal, Steger, Walsworth, Morrow and Zoe Teton. Each made at least one game-saving catch.

The Renegade MVP for the weekend was Ramsey, the team's catcher. She not only caught all seven games in the Idaho heat, but she also batted .469 against some strong pitching.

The Renegades 16U team is made up of nine players from the 2007 Lakeridge High School Pacers varsity softball team, and one each from Tigard and Aloha high schools. Not traveling due to injury was Lucy Leggett. That left the Renegades with 10 players for the trip to Boise, and while they were a little under-staffed, they made a good showing.