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Lions baseball team kicks off league play with defeat to powerful Wilsonville

Next for the St. Helens High softball team is a 5 p.m. Friday home game against Sandy, weather permitting.

That would be the Lions' second game in Northwest Oregon Conference play.

St. Helens began its league season on Wednesday, losing 5-1 at home to Wilsonville. The Lions fell to 1-6 for the season.

St. Helens freshmen Alise Gump and Brea Paulson combined to give up nine hits. Gump started and went five innings on the mound.

Wilsonville took a 4-0 lead with four runs in the second inning, then added a run in the sixth.

"Wilsonville capitalized on our mistakes during the second inning. When we are able to keep our defense solid, we won't be having those one-inning mishaps that have happened, and it will be a better competitive game," Lions coach Miranda Little says.

Leadoff hitter Brooklynn Mercier, a senior, led the Lions at the plate, getting two of her team's five hits. She hit a two-out double and scored in the seventh.

Sandy dropped its NWOC opener, 9-2 to Hillsboro.

"We are always excited to play Sandy," Little says. "It's one of those teams that the girls always seem to get jacked up about, and they play really well. Sandy should be a really fun game to watch, for sure."

After that, St. Helens is slated to play Milwaukie on Tuesday at Alder Creek Middle School.

"Milwaukie will be a whole new team," Little says. "They sneaked up on us a few times last year, and I feel like they will be out to get us this year as well, which always makes the girls get excited."

Lions regroup for league

One down, 16 to go for the St. Helens Lions baseball team.

Game one of the Northwest Oregon Conference season is in the books for the Lions, who drew a tough starting assignment, having to play Wilsonville on Tuesday.

The result was a 15-2 loss in a five-inning game.

The teams are scheduled to meet again Friday at Wilsonville and at 5 p.m. Tuesday at St. Helens.

Then it's on to seven other NWOC series against other league foes — as St. Helens hopes to find some of the magic it unearthed in the March 28 victory, 10-9, over Redmond in the team's final nonleague test.

Wilsonville won its third game in a row on Tuesday and climbed to 6-4 for the year (three of the losses to Class 6A teams).

The Wildcats jumped on St. Helens in the first inning, scoring 10 runs. Wilsonville senior pitcher Ben VavRosky struck out 10, and the Lions managed only two hits, by sophomore Joe Rea in the first inning and freshman Jacobi Allen in the fifth.

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