Rainout Monday delays final leg of the journey to the title
Coming into the 2012 softball season, Forest Grove players and coaches knew that the Pacific Conference schedule would not provide an easy road to travel.
The Lady Vikings fell short of the conference title, taking second place behind Glencoe. But, after an 11-3 conference record (19-7 overall) and automatically qualifying for the Class 6A state playoffs, Forest Grove head coach Trevor Tusow says there is much to be proud of.
'We felt very good about it,' Tusow said. 'Any time you finish second in any league, it's a great accomplishment. But, you look at our league and the top three teams (Glencoe, Forest Grove and Tigard) finished (ranked) in the top 10. That gives you an idea of how good of a league it is. And we knew that coming in.
'We always have a tough league in softball. We set our sights high. We wanted to get an automatic bid for the playoffs. We also wanted to compete for a league title and we came pretty close to having a league title.'
Tusow says having a solid group of veteran teammates has been critical to the Lady Vikings' success.
'We're really lucky,' Tusow said. 'We've got really, really good team chemistry. We've got six seniors and the juniors we have and the sophomores, they have a lot of experience together. From really early on in the season it was a really solid team. They happen to be good softball players, but, they're great people.
'They're really supportive of each other and if someone is having an off day, someone else is always there to pick them up. You can always find some individual greatness, but collectively as a team, that's our biggest strength.'
Having already clinched a playoff spot, the Lady Viks spent last week playing tune-up games. Forest Grove beat Lincoln 7-1 on Tuesday and Aloha 3-0 on Thursday.
Tusow is not reading too heavily into the two wins, but he does believe that they show the quality of his team.
'Tune up games, you don't know what pitcher they throw or if they throw their best kid or are taking it easy or what,' Tusow said. 'But, it does let you know that you can play with anybody.'
Forest Grove, a No. 3 seed, was set to open the playoffs on Monday at home against sixth-seeded David Douglas (15-10), which handed the Lady Vikings a 1-0 loss in the first game of the season, but the game was rained out. Officials rescheduled the game for Tuesday afternoon at the turf field at Hood View Park in Clackamas. (Because the game was played after our press deadline, results will be posted at fgnewstimes.com)
Regardless of the venues, Tusow knows that the Vikings will have to be firing on all cylinders every game if they want to make a run at a state title.
'Our bats have to show up,' Tusow said. 'We have to keep pitching well, we have to play good defense.'
While the Lady Viks are happy with the season so far, they are not nearly satisfied.
'We feel really good about where we are and the season we've had,' Tusow said. 'But, we certainly aren't going to rest with what we've done so far. We have a lot of things we'd like to do beyond that.'