Indians score three runs in the seventh to bounce Forest Grove from the postseason

by: NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Forest Grove freshman Skyler Crowell gets caught in a rundown during Monday's first round Class 6A state playoff game against Roseburg.Gut-wrenching is probably the best way to describe it.

The Forest Grove softball team was on the verge of a 5-3 victory Monday in a Class 6A first round state playoff game at Jim Prickett Field. The 14th-seeded Vikings had No. 19 Roseburg down to its final strike in the top of the seventh inning. But with a full count and the tying run at the plate, Forest Grove pitcher Emily Peters could not get Jacey Conklin to swing at a ball, keeping Roseburg alive.

The Indians immediately took advantage of that new life with a fielding error and two consecutive RBI infield singles for a 6-5 lead, which is where the score remained after Forest Grove went down in order in the bottom half of the inning.

The Vikings ended their season at 14-13 overall. Roseburg improved to 13-12 and drew a second-round home game today against No. 30 South Medford, which upset third-ranked Tualatin — this year’s Pacific Conference champion — 5-1 in 11 innings on Monday.

“What can you say? You’re that close to winning and kind of let it slip away,” Forest Grove coach Trevor Tusow said. “It’s tough. It’s a hard way to end your season when you can feel the next round right there.

“You’re so close to achieving a huge goal. Sometimes that’s what happens. We just didn’t close it out.”

This was a game filled with twists and turns, comebacks and close calls.

After Roseburg scored a run in the second inning and two more in the third off Vikings starter Shelby Turner, Forest Grove pulled one back in the bottom of the third on a single from Sarah Hess, which scored Peters.

The home team might also have scored on Leena Silvis’ at-bat. The junior put a ball in play that was fielded by the Roseburg shortstop, who tried for the out at first while Hess was circling around to score. The umpire at first ruled that the first baseman had pulled her foot off the bag, but Tusow said that the home plate umpire overruled the call, which got the Indians out of the inning clinging to a 3-1 lead.

Forest Grove tied the game in the fourth inning on an RBI single from Siera Martinez and Jessica Doyle’s RBI double.

The Vikings then seemed primed for victory thanks to a two-run sixth. With the bases loaded and one out, Maddie Haugen launched a two-run single into center field to score Kendra Bailey and Martinez.

Ashley Martin went the distance in the pitcher’s circle for Roseburg to pick up the win. Peters came on to relieve Turner with no outs in the fourth and took the loss, as Roseburg ultimately had the final answer — and the one that ended the Vikings’ season in heartbreaking fashion.

“It was really up and down,” said Turner, one of two seniors on the team, along with Doyle.

“We started out nervous and I think we ended nervous, and that last out is what really got it.”

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