Home runs power Saints to a softball sweep
Mt. Hood CC remains atop the South Region with wins over Clackamas
The Mt. Hood CC softball team kept its season rolling along Saturday with a doubleheader sweep over rival Clackamas.
The Saints opened with a 4-1 win, taking an early lead when Teauna Hughes sent a two-run shot off the scoreboard in center field. She drew intentional walks both times she stepped into the batters box later in the game.
Clackamas scored on a bobbled ball in the fifth inning, but Saints pitcher Ann-Marie Guischer battled from behind in the count to strike out the next batter and strand the tying run at second base.
Mt. Hood put the game out of reach in its half of the inning when Centennial High graduate Kali VanCleave sent a lead-off double over the left-fielders glove. Two batters later, the runners were in motion when Lola Ciu dropped a bunt in front of the plate. VanCleave slid home before the Cougars could make a play on the ball.
Maycee Abendschein added an RBI-single through the left side to extend the margin to the final count of 4-1.
Clackamas tried to climb back into the game in the sixth inning when Megan Malvick led off with a single, and Tasha Silvius smacked a double to deep center field. But Abendschein was quick getting the ball back to the infield, and Lola Cius relay from third base beat the runner home by several strides.
Malvick went wide to avoid the tag by Saints catcher Courtney McCarthy, but she also missed home plate. The players scrambled in the dirt for a moment, while the umpire kept a close eye on the action. McCarthy was the first to make a move, lunging forward with her mitt and tagging Malvick on the ankle to record the out.
The Cougars loaded the bases in the seventh inning and Silvius caused some nervous moments with a hit to the right-field corner that curved foul. The next pitch ended in a ground ball to VanCleave to end the game.
Guischler went the distance with 11 strikeouts.
The Saints fell behind 4-1 in the second game before exploding for six runs in the sixth inning to complete the sweep with a 7-4 win.
McCarthy tied the score with a three-run homer, while Van Cleave added the winning punch with a three-run double.
Brittney Dawson struck out six through 4 1/3 innings, while Kristen Crawford closed out the victory with 2 2/3 innings of no-hit ball.
McCarthy led the Saints offense by hitting 4-for-6 (.667), while VanCleave and Abendschein each finished with three hits on the day.
Mt. Hood (22-3) retains its spot atop the South Region standings, going into Tuesdays home doubleheader against Lower Columbia (15-8).