Mt. Hood CC hangs on to South Region title after a Game 2 comeback last week.

OREGON CITY — The Mt. Hood CC softball team retained its grip on first place in the South Region by splitting a doubleheader at Clackamas CC on Tuesday.

The Saints went up early in the first game when Lela Ciu sent a ball over the left-field fence.

Mt. Hood had chances to add to their lead in the third and fourth innings, but stranded a pair of base runners each time — something it would regret when Clackamas found its bats in the bottom of the fourth.

The Saints appeared to dodge trouble when lead-off hitter Kara Hilton saw her home-run shot curve wide of the right-field pole before passing over the fence. She would connect on a harmless pop-up on the next pitch.

But the Cougars weren’t ready to return to the dugout quite yet.

Instead, Tasha Silvius drew a walk that sparked a rally that saw five straight hitters get on base. Clackamas went in front when Taylor Gould sent a roller in play to the left side. Mt. Hood made a play on the ball, but a throw while sitting in the dirt sailed high and two runs came in on the error.

Samantha Owirka hammered a fly ball to deep center field that eluded a Saints’ glove and fell to the grass. Gould was on the move immediately, taking a wide path to slide home safely avoiding the tag of Mt. Hood catcher Courtney McCarthy.

The scoring spree continued when pinch-hitter Gracie Dempster smacked a line drive that clipped a glove at first base and rolled into right field for an RBI-single and a 4-1 lead.

Mt. Hood finally escaped the inning when Teauna Hughes collected a ball on the infield and stomped on second base for the third out.

The Saints answered in their next at-bats when Hughes took a half-swing and still managed to pop a two-run homer over the center-field fence.

But Clackamas came back with Megan Malvick’s two-run shot in its half of the inning to make the final score 6-3.

? Clackamas threatened to sweep the doubleheader after carrying a 3-1 lead into the sixth inning of Game 2. But Mt. Hood responded with a six-run spurt en route to a 10-3 win.

Mt. Hood pitcher Ann-Marie Guischler struck out 10 in a complete-game effort. Hughes and Bianca Hancock each had home runs.

For the day, Heather Jett and Ciu each went 4 for 6 at the plate, while Centennial High grad Kali VanCleave hit 3 for 9 with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored.

The Cougars earned the No. 5 seed for the Northwest playoffs and will open at 11:30 a.m. Friday against Everett at Delta Park.

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