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Saints reach Northwest finale

THE OUTLOOK: DAVID BALL - Mt. Hoods Tiara Champ leads the charge out of the dugout to embrace teammate Rachel Rutledge, 8, after she came home with the winning run in the eighth inning Sunday.

Championship semifinals

Team Score
Mt. Hood CC
Douglas College ... 8 innings

DELTA PARK — There was a party going on in the dugout Sunday afternoon, but you had to be wearing a Mt. Hood CC softball uniform to get invited.

Douglas would have thought it had silenced their opponents when No. 9 hitter Daniella Villo hit a home run to tie the score in the seventh inning. If that didn’t do the trick, then certainly Laura Baldry’s sacrifice fly to bring in the go-ahead run in the eighth would do the trick.

But the Saints were intent on celebrating.

The noise level reached absurd levels from their side of the field with everyone on their feet to cheer their teammates through their final at-bats.

Darian Lindsey led it off with a single and was moved into scoring position on a sacrifice ground ball by Tiara Champ. Next up was Rachel Rutledge with a drive to center field. Lindsey paused in the baseline, peeking over her shoulder to track the ball. After a few impatient seconds, she put her legs in gear and had her eyes on home plate the entire way, crossing through with the tying run standing up.

Reynolds graduate Courtney Cabana singled through the infield to bring her teammates flooding out of the dugout to greet Rutledge at home with the winning run.

“I was just looking for my pitch, and if it was mine I was going to go for it,” Cabana said. “I didn’t think about it much, I just enjoyed the moment and wanted to give back to my team.”

The 4-3 victory sent the Saints into Monday’s championship game where they would face either Bellevue or get a rematch with Douglas.

View photos at daveball.exposuremanager.com.

Look for expanded coverage in our May 24, print edition.