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Laker softball opens league with a win


The Lake Oswego softball team picked an opportune time to come up with its first victory of the year.

The Lakers took on Lakeridge in their league opener and rallied from a late three-run deficit to ultimately score a dramatic walk-off victory that the team hopes to build on.

Lake Oswego got off to a rough start in the game, giving up three early runs with some sloppy play defensively.

"It wasn't a clean game for us but we didn't let one error lead to another one which has hurt us in the past," Lake Oswego coach Jennifer Campbell said.

But the team settled down after that and Emily Wong did a nice job throwing strikes and keeping the ball in play on the mound.

"She's an all-league centerfielder which is where we want her but she's doing a nice job just throwing strikes and keeping the ball down right now," Campbell said.

With a 3-2 lead after four innings, Lakeridge padded its advantage in the top of the fifth.

Katie Barton led off by reaching on an error and Bailey Morris followed with a single.

Those runners moved up on a wild pitch and Alicia Loiler got a run across with an RBI ground out.

Chayse Pearson followed with an RBI single but Wong limited the damage after that with a strikeout and a shallow fly ball.

Lakeridge was in control for most of the game and had a runner thrown out at the plate in the top of the sixth but still held a comfortable advantage heading into the bottom of the inning.

Kalin Rooney threw another effective game for the Pacers, keeping the Lake Oswego line-up off balance for much of the contest.

But, in the bottom of the sixth, the Lakers started to put the ball in play more consistently.

"I feel like we have a strong hitting team one through nine," Campbell said.

With one out, Mariah Mendez-Oliver hit a single and then stole second base.

Rooney then coaxed the second out on a pop up before giving up an RBI double to Wong, who ended up on third base on an error.

Yurika Asai drew a two-out walk and then the Lakers executed a double steal that scored Wong, making it 5-4.

Alex Jones followed with a fly ball that was dropped in the outfield allowing the tying run to score.

Lakeridge threatened to regain the lead in the top of the seventh. Kelsey Ramsey led off with a single and Pearson reached on an error.

But Wong recorded the next two outs and then coaxed a ground ball to third base. The throw to first base was low but Lindsay Shallman picked it out of the dirt to save the go-ahead run.

Lake Oswego entered the bottom of the inning with a chance to win its first game of the year.

Paige Quesenberry led off with a single and Haley Jensen followed by reaching on an error following a bunt that put runners on first and third base.

Kendall Cohns followed with a ground ball and reached base as the Pacers held Quesenberry on third base.

With the bases loaded, Lakeridge got a force-out at home for the first out.

Lake Oswego inserted Amy Adler to pinch run on third base and Samantha Silva came up to the plate and hit a ground ball that just squeezed through the infield for the winning run.

It was a huge victory for the Lakers who have steadily improved after a tough start to the season.

"We've been getting better each day and it was nice to finally put one together, especially in our league opener against our rivals," Campbell said.

Lake Oswego will travel to Clackamas on Friday and Lakeridge will host Oregon City.