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Cav win string at 13, and counting


Madison Vrabel faces the minimum 15 batters in a one-hitter

Two weeks into the 2013 league season, the Clackamas Cavaliers are the team to beat in Three Rivers League softball.

The Cavaliers last week ran their TRL record to 6-0 with wins over West Linn (5-2), Canby (7-3) and Lake Oswego (12-0 in five innings). Oregon City (9-6, 4-2) entered play this week in second place in league.

“We lost our first three games [of the 2013 season], but now we’ve got 13 wins in a row,” said Clackamas coach Dave Just. “The kids are rolling. It’s fun to see....

by: JONATHAN HOUSE - Clackamas' Cassie Haehlen is greeted by her teammates after hitting a home run in the second inning of last Fridays 12-0 rout of Lake Oswego.“We’re getting timely base hits; we’re playing good defense; and our pitchers are getting ahead of the hitters.”

The Cavaliers took no hostages in last Friday’s game with Lake Oswego, as they put on a show for Happy Valley youth players, who were on hand to get a look at the high school varsity team. The game was over in just 4-1/2 innings, as they Cavaliers went up 12-0 with seven runs in the bottom of the fourth.

Clackamas junior Madison Vrabel put on a clinic in her first league start in the circle, striking out six and walking no one in a one-hitter. And her teammates supported Vrabel with error-free defensive play.

by: JONATHAN HOUSE - Clackamas' Jessica Engle is greeted by her teammates after hitting a home run in last Fridays 12-0 rout of Lake Oswego. It was Engle's first home run of her high school career.Lake Oswego got its only baserunner on an infield single in the top of the fourth. But Clackamas catcher Corey Erickson gunned her down stealing second.

“Madison did a good job and we played great defense behind her,” Just said. “She faced the minimum of 15 batters.”

Clackamas played long ball in the second inning, with Cassie Haehlen (2-for-3, 3 RBI) and Jessica Engle (2-for-3, 3 RBI) staking the Cavaliers to an early 2-0 lead with solo home runs. Engle’s round-tripper, hit with two outs, was the first of her high school career.

The Cavaliers added three unearned runs in the third inning, scoring on two walks, a fielder’s choice and two LO errors.

And they put the game away in the fourth, stringing five hits together with Laker miscues and scoring seven times. McKenzie Giancola, Cassie Haehlen and Sydney Opoka smacked run-scoring doubles in the big inning. Haehlen plated two runs with her timely two-bagger.

Giancola (3-for-4) had the hot bat in the Cavaliers’ 5-2 win at West Linn, hammering out two doubles and a home run to drive in three runs.

The Cavaliers put three runs on the scoreboard in the first inning and they were in the driver’s seat the rest of the way. Noble started off the early rally with a solo home run. Vanessa Oakden (2-for-4, 2 runs) singled, and Giancola followed with a two-run home run.

The Cavaliers added two insurance runs in the fifth, on an RBI-single by Oakden and a run-scoring two-bagger by Giancola.

Amanda Zehr pitched, striking out three, walking one and allowing one earned run. With the Cavaliers leading 5-2, Zehr pitched herself out of a jams in the sixth and seventh frames. West Linn had runners on second and third with one down in both innings, when Zehr retired the side.

“Amanda had good command of her pitches,” Just said. “She was in the strike zone and she was ahead of the batters all game long.”

The Cavaliers took hitting practice on Canby pitchers on April 17, as they crushed the ball for no fewer than 14 hits in a 7-3 victory.

Giancola (3-for-4, double, 2 RBI) and Mariah Scholes (3-for-4) led the hitting barrage.

The Cavaliers went up 3-0 in the first inning, scoring three runs on a double by Ashley Filler, a run-scoring groundout by Melissa Noble, and base hits by Oakden, Scholes, Vrabel and Sammie Haehlen.

They upped the gap to 6-0 in the top of the fifth, scoring three runs with two down on a base hit by Noble, a run-scoring single by Scholes and RBI-doubles by Giancola and Erickson.

Noble tripled in the seventh and scored on a base hit by Giancola.

Zehr pitched, striking out three, walking two and allowing just one earned run.

The Cavaliers have been hitting up a storm this spring. Through 16 games they had a .323 team batting average, led by Scholes (.513), Giancola (.455, 21 RBI), Filler (.442, 19 runs scored), Oakden (.370) and Vrabel (.344).

The Cavaliers (13-3, 6-0) play Lakeridge (8-8, 2-4) on the road this afternoon and they entertain West Linn (7-8, 3-3) on Thursday.