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Blast places fifth at state tournament

by: Greta Clapp TOUGH AT THE TOURNEY — The Tigard Blast team that placed fifth at the state tournament included (top, from left) Jordan Coleman, Rebekka Kruse, Maggie Clapp, Emily Allen, (middle) Alexa Hansen, Katie Chabreck, Kelsey Downey, Molly Olivera, Michelle Simmons, (bottom) Lexii Kelly and Sarah Kailiuli.

JUNCTION CITY - The Ti-gard Blast '96 14A ASA softball team faced off with the top teams in the state and walked away with the fifth-place trophy at the state tour-nament held July 8-10 in Junction City.

The Blast as they won their first game of the event, 15 -1, against HiVoltage. Tigard scored 13 runs on 10 hits in the first three innings of the game. Michelle Simmons led all hitters with three hits, including two doubles, and three RBI. Emily Allen also had three hits with two RBI and two stolen bases. Jordan Coleman had three RBI on two hits and Kelsey Downey also had two hits.

Alexa Hansen, Sarah Kailiuli and Molly Olivera each had a hit and two RBI. Coleman and Lexii Kelly combined to pitch a one-hitter, hitter with Coleman earning the win.

In its second game, Tigard had nine hits, but were held scoreless, losing 2-0 to the Oregon Blaze. Maggie Clapp pitched an incredible complete game scattering six hits over seven innings. Allen had an-other three hits and Simmons had two hits including her third double in two games. Coleman added a double and Clapp, Downey and Olivera each hit singles. The loss dropped Tigard into the losers' bracket and made each subsequent game an elimination game.

The Blast stepped up to the chal-lenge by beating the Newberg Tigers 7-6. Tigard jumped out to a 6-0 lead then held on over the last three innings to secure the win.

The scoring started in the third inning when with two outs Downey hit a single to right that was mis-played allowing her to advance to third base. Simmons walked and Allen earned an RBI when she hit a deep single. Simmons scored on an overthrow and Allen scored on a single by Olivera.

Tigard scored three more runs in the fourth inning off two Newberg errors and RBI singles by Kelly and Simmons. However, Newberg scored one in the fifth and four more runs in the sixth inning mak-ing the score 6-5 going into the top of the seventh inning. Allen scored a key insurance run when Kailiuli hit her home with a RBI single. Coleman started the game and pitched five innings allowing only one earned run. Clapp came on in relief to pitch the last two innings and earn the win.

Tigard now had to play its third game of the day and they avenged an earlier season loss, beating Ore-gon Fever 6 -3. Clapp pitched a complete game allowing only five hits while getting the win. Rebekka Kruse and Olivera each had two hits. Allen hit a two-run double and Coleman, Chabreck and Simmons each hit singles. The key hit of the game came from Lexii Kelly. Going into the bottom of the sixth inning Tigard was clinging to a 3-2 lead. Olivera, Kruse and Chabreck each hit singles to load the bases and Kelly came on to pinch hit. She ripped the second pitch she saw to the fence for a double, driving 3 runs in. That hit turned out to be the game winner as the Fever scored one more run in the top of the seventh.

By beating the Oregon Fever Ti-gard advanced to the losers' bracket semifinal. However they faced a tough test against the perennial powerhouse, Oregon Thunder. The Blast fought hard, but lost an in-tense game 2-1. Tigard held a 1-0 lead going into the bottom of the fifth inning, but Thunder tied it up in that frame and scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth to secure the win. Coleman pitched into the fifth inning allowing just one run and Clapp came on in relief. Tigard got hits from Hansen, Kruse and Downey.