Top-seeded Crimson Tide move on to the second round of the state softball playoffs

One down.

The Glencoe softball team started its 2013 Class 6A state playoff campaign on the right note, striking early and often in a 7-0 victory at home against South Medford on a sunny and pleasant Monday afternoon.

Katie Sutherland-Finch threw a one-hitter and struck out 19 batters, and Maria Dendinger paced the offense by going 2-for-3 with a long RBI double and scoring one run. With the win, the Crimson Tide upped their record to 25-1 overall and advanced to a second-round game against a familiar foe in Pacific Conference rival Forest Grove.

That game was scheduled for 5 p.m. on Wednesday (after press deadline).

“We did all right,” Crimson Tide coach Jacy Jukkala said. “It wasn’t, I think, our best showing. That first game of playoffs, you’re always a little anxious, and they were a little anxious, a little tense tonight. So I think it was good to get the first one out of the way.”

Despite the nerves and not having played since the previous Wednesday, Glencoe did not show too much rust early. The No. 1-seeded Tide put their first run on the board in the bottom of the first inning when Macy Besuyen — who went 2-for-4 and scored twice — came home on a throwing error after having reached base earlier on a single and advancing to third on Courtney Clayton’s single into the gap in right-center.

The Tide added two more tallies in the third, when Dendinger’s double bounced off the fence in center field and scored Clayton, who also had two of Glencoe’s 11 hits and added an RBI and a run scored in the contest. Dendinger then scored by beating the tag attempt at home plate after Lauren Messmer’s single bounced off of Panthers pitcher Hannah Newman’s glove.

“We came out strong and we got some runs on the board right away, and that helped us out,” said Dendinger, Glencoe’s junior first baseman.

Three more runs in the fourth put the game firmly in Glencoe’s control. After Kamryn Apling led off with a single up the middle, Besuyen and Morgan Brown both bunted and reached base successfully. A throwing error on Brown’s bunt allowed Apling and Besuyen to score, and then Brown came home on Clayton’s groundout.

While the 5-23 Panthers certainly were not the toughest team Glencoe has faced all season, that mattered little, Dendinger said.

“It’s the playoffs. You’re excited every single game,” she noted. “We get pumped up before every game.”

In the second round, the Tide were slated to face a Forest Grove squad they defeated twice en route to an undefeated league record and the Pacific Conference title. The No. 4-seeded Lady Vikings, 21-6 entering the contest, defeated David Douglas 2-0 at home to open the playoffs. Glencoe breezed to an 8-1 win at home against the Vikings on April 12 before facing a much tougher test in a 4-3 road win on May 1.

Whichever team emerged victorious from Wednesday’s second round could be in for yet another all-Pacific Conference matchup today. League runner-up Tualatin, if it knocked off Clackamas at home on Wednesday, will be the Glencoe/Forest Grove winner’s quarterfinals foe.

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