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Liberty softball survives St. Helens' ninth-inning rally

Lions score four runs late but Falcons hang on 13-10

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: JAKE MCNEAL - Senior outfielder Kayla Finch and the Lions scored four ninth-inning runs but could not overcome Liberty in Wednesday's 13-10 loss in Hillsboro.The Lions led early on Wednesday, but the Northwest Oregon Conference-leading hometown Falcons took over late.

St. Helens built a 2-0 edge midway through the third inning, but Liberty scored three in the fourth, four in the fifth and five in the sixth to win 13-10.

The Lions (6-9 overall, 4-3 Northwest Oregon Conference) scored four runs in the ninth but could not complete the comeback.

Ashley Giesbers had two RBIs for St. Helens, and Taylor Leal had another.

Freshman Raegan Kirsop smacked three RBIs for the Falcons (10-7, 6-1), winners of six in a row.

Senior Emily Cundall six-hit the Lions and struck out three in a complete game, but St. Helens took advantage of seven errors.

Sixth-ranked Hillsboro also got away from the Lions, but fourth-ranked Sandy did not.

The Spartans escaped with a 5-3, nine-inning win on Tuesday in St. Helens after the Lions beat the visiting Pioneers 7-6 with a walk-off on Friday, April 15.

Hillsboro (10-6, 5-1) led 3-0 midway through the second, but the Lions (6-8, 4-2) tied it up at 3-3 in the home half of the seventh.

The Spartans, who outhit St. Helens 12-5 but could hardly break away, tacked on two more in the ninth.

Brooklynn Mercier’s twin RBIs powered the Lions.

Brooklynn Scheer pitched all nine innings and fanned four.

Hillsboro sophomore Payton Goodrich went the distance and struck out 12.

Against Sandy, St. Helens led 4-1 through three but trailed 6-4 in the top of the sixth.

The Lions scored two in the home half, and Ramsay’s single in the seventh was the clincher.

Ramsay and Hannah Jordan swung for two respective RBIs.

Sandy senior Audrey Seipert went six innings and struck out five Lions.

The Lions have beaten Hillsboro in two of three contests since the Spartans realigned from Class 6A. St. Helens has beaten Sandy (10-5, 5-3) in five of the last six.

The Lions, winners of four of their last six, stand two games back of Hillsboro, Liberty and No. 2 defending state champion Putnam in the Northwest Oregon standings.

St. Helens, which scores 7.1 runs per game and gives up 6.7, is scheduled to play at Putnam at 5 p.m. on Friday in Milwaukie.

The Kingsmen (14-1-1, 5-1), who score a second-best 9.7 runs and give up a state-low 2.1, bounced the Lions from the state quarterfinals last year and from the semifinals in 2014.

Putnam has taken five of the last six meetings in the series.

St. Helens 7, Sandy 6

S 010 122 0 — 6 12 0

SH 400 002 1 — 7 12 2

Hillsboro 5,

St. Helens 3 (9 innings)

H 210 000 002 — 5 12 0

SH 001 000 200 — 3 5 1

Liberty 13, St. Helens 10

SH 101 031 4 — 10 6 8

L 001 345 x— 13 12 7