St. Helens softball whacks Wilsonville
Lions have season-swept Parkrose and Milwaukie
The Lions are hitting their defensive stride.
St. Helens locked visiting Wilsonville down for a single run on Wednesday in an 11-1, five-inning win, and has not allowed more than two runs at a time in its three-game win streak.
The Lions (9-11 overall, 7-5 Northwest Oregon Conference) notched their third sweep of the year.
St. Helens led 10-0 through three innings as Kortney Smith drove in three runs and Taylor Dow and Tierra Ramsay both brought home two.
Brooklynn Scheer five-hit the Wildcats through five innings and struck out three.
Senior Kirsten Oldenstadt notched a strikeout through four innings for the Wildcats (4-18, 2-10).
St. Helens also won 11-7 in Wilsonville on April 13 and has taken the last six games in the series.
As the sun broke free of rainclouds on Friday, April 29, so did the Lions in the fourth inning against visiting Parkrose.
The Lions scored four runs in the fourth and pitched their first shutout of the year, 9-0.
St. Helens (8-11, 6-5) enjoyed their second season sweep of the year, having beaten the Broncos (2-16, 1-9) by a 12-4 count on April 8 in Portland.
The Lions also beat Milwaukie 10-1 at home and 13-2 on the road.
"It's really nice to see us come together as a team," St. Helens senior outfielder Kayla Finch said. "In a lot of games we've lost, we were playing for ourselves. We've had up-and-down hitting, but when we score a couple of runs in the first inning it's way more comfortable."
Finch and Ramsay singled in Dow and Taylor Leal in the first inning.
Scheer singled Leal across in the third.
Hallie Schwirse scored from third base on a Parkrose error at first in the fourth, Dow's grounder to first sprung Ashley Giesbers, Ramsay singled home Leal, and Scheer singled Finch across.
"Yesterday most of practice was hitting," said Leal, a senior at first base. "We have to be aggressive and come out hot, and as soon as we scored two runs in the first inning we got happy."
Madisyn Flores reached first to load the bases with two outs, but Parkrose junior Shaianne Stanley forced a flyout just beyond first to end the threat.
Leal doubled home Brooklynn Mercier in the fifth, and Smith singled Leal home.
Stanley nearly broke the shutout with a sixth-inning drive that landed just inside the left-center fence.
Smith made a bobbling catch with a Parkrose runner on third for the final out in the seventh.
Scheer five-hit Parkrose through seven innings for 15 first-pitch strikes and fanned five Broncos.
"I felt nervous to come out with a first pitch [a changeup] I don't usually throw, but strikeouts are especially nice," said Scheer, a junior.
Stanley went six innings and threw 20 first-pitch strikes, but St. Helens landed 14 hits.
The Lions have beaten Parkrose six times in their last six meetings.
St. Helens, which scores 7.3 runs per game to 6.6 surrendered, is scheduled to play at No. 10 Sandy (16-6, 9-4) at 5 p.m. on Friday.
The Lions beat the Pioneers 7-6 on April 15 in St. Helens and have won five of the last six in the series.
Sandy averages seven runs per contest and yields five.
St. Helens 9, Parkrose 0
P 000 000 0 0 5 3
SH 201 420 x 9 14 0
St. Helens 11, Wilsonville 1 (5 innings)
W 000 10 1 5 2
SH 262 01 11 15 0