Gresham goes extras to beat Dogs

LITTLE LEAGUE - Gresham makes final three at state softball tournament
by: David Ball Gresham pitcher Morgan Bratcher fires toward the plate in Tuesday’s 3-2 win. She struck out five batters.

The bleachers emptied when the rain started to fall on Tuesday's softball action. Some sought refuge underneath the wood planks, others scurried for their umbrellas and some raced to their cars in the parking lot.

But the Gresham all-stars did something different. They gathered in their dugout and cheered.

Not because they were hoping for a postponement, but because they didn't mind getting a little muddy to get the job done with a 3-2 extra-inning win against Hermiston in the ages 11-12 state elimination game.

'We've practiced rain or shine all year. They were excited to see the rain, they were going to stay out there even if it meant getting wet,' Gresham coach Traci Bratcher said. 'They remembered why they signed up to play, because they enjoy the game. It takes that kind of unity to win these kind of games.'

The rains caused a 20-minute delay in the bottom of the eighth inning with the teams deadlocked 2-2. When play resumed, Janessa Treloggen promptly drilled a bouncer through the left side to load the bases.

Two batters later, Lexi Baty smacked a ball into the dirt near second base. Treloggen beat the Bulldogs' Kylie Harrison in a foot race to the bag, avoiding the final out and allowing teammate Morgan Bratcher to come in with the winning run.

Gresham advances to play at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday in a final elimination game with the winner earning a spot in Thursday's championship round.

The tournament is being hosted at the Centennial Little League complex.

Look for extended coverage in the July 13, edition of The Outlook.