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Westview's second punch puts away Gresham 12-4

Gresham survives an early outburst, but not the second one

TIMES PHOTO: MILES VANCE - Westview's Emma Williams throws the ball back to the infield during her team's 12-4 non-league win over Gresham at Westview on Monday. When the Westview softball team came out swinging against Gresham on Monday, the Gophers took the Wildcats' best shot and survived.

But when the Wildcats came back with another roundhouse late in the game, it was lights out for Gresham.

Westview, which saw an early five-run lead narrowed to two, added six more runs in its final two at-bats to beat Gresham 12-4 in non-league action at Westview High School.

“In the middle, I think we lost a little bit of our intensity but they put the pressure on and we brought it right back to them,” said Westview junior center fielder Emma Williams, who went 2 for 2 at the plate and scored twice in the win. “We did a really great job of doing that.”

“I thought we did a really good job playing small ball, especially early in the game,” added senior second baseman Jordin Lowman, who went 3 for 4 at the plate, knocked in three runs and also scored three times. And what we did “especially at the end is what we're going to try to do the whole year.”

The win was the third in the past four games for the second-ranked Wildcats, who improved to 6-2 overall. No. 16 Gresham, meanwhile, saw a three-game winning streak snapped and fell to 5-2 overall.

“On defense, we just needed to be smarter and that's what we're going to be working on, being smarter out in the field,” said Gresham senior first baseman Maddie Huff (she went 2 for 4 and also knocked in a run), noting her team's six errors and a couple other costly mental miscues. “I think smarter defense would have made a different result, definitely.”

Senior teammate Maddy Lindhorst added that Westview's aggressive baserunning would help the Gophers get ready for Oregon City and Barlow in Mt. Hood Conference play.

“They like to push the limits. They're the ones who will push the limits and be aggressive on the bases, but we'll know next time,” said Lindhorst, who went 2 for 3 and scored once. “We didn't hang our heads this time.”

The Wildcats hit the ground at full speed in their first at-bat on Monday, banging out four hits and scoring five runs against Gresham pitcher Shianne Smith, that inning highlighted by Catherine Boyd's two-run, opposite-field double to right and RBI singles by both Kelsey Day and Lowman.

As much as Westview's bats, however, the Wildcats used their speed and aggressive baserunning to make their point, forcing two errors and taking several extra bases on Gresham throws.

“I think we are really great baserunning team,” Williams said. “We have a lot of speed and aggressiveness on our team and that's what really helps us.”

The two teams traded runs in the third and fourth innings, but the Gophers really broke through in the top of the fifth, scoring three times to cut the Wildcats' lead to 6-4. In that frame, Natalie Marshall and Lindhorst opened with back-to-back singles, and Bella Serrano followed with an RBI double to center field. Brittani Campton then came off the bench and delivered a bloop single to left to plate another run, and with two outs, Lindhorst raced home on a passed ball to bring her team within 6-4.

Suitably awakened, Westview responded with force, scoring twice in the bottom of the fifth and then tacking on four more in the sixth to put the game out of reach. In the fifth, it was Day with a run-scoring triple and Reece Martin a RBI single, while in the sixth, Lowman doubled home two runs and Kate Gilley singled home yet another.

Now, the Cats just hope to continue getting better until Metro League play arrives on April 12.

“Our goal is definitely to win Metro, for sure,” Williams said. “I think if we just keep up our intensity throughout every game, we will definitely sweep the Metro.”

“We're trying to be Metro champs four years in row,” Lowman added.

For youthful Gresham, which has just two seniors on its roster, improvement is likewise the name of the game with MHC play due to kick off on April 13.

“We have a lot of young girls on the team, but we're building up,” Lindhorst said. “We've just got to keep working on it.”

“I think we are going to have a successful year,” Huff added. “A lot of people lost a lot of good players, good seniors from last year … and we're still a young team.”

For Gresham, Marshall went 2 for 3 and scored twice; Smith allowed 13 hits, three walks and two hit batters while striking out five. Day, Gilley and Martin added two hits each for Westview, while pitcher Abby Greer allowed eight hits and five walks while striking out seven.TIMES PHOTO: MILES VANCE - Gresham third baseman Bella Serrano throws to first base during her team's 12-4 non-league loss at Westview on Monday.