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Young Tigers try to rally back

Tigard hits the ball well, but comes up short in 10-6 loss


TIGARD — They may be young.

Really, really young.

But they never seem to stop battling — and they swing the bats pretty well.

The youthful Tigard High School softball team, with no seniors and just one junior on the varsity roster, was left still looking for its first win of the year, as it fell 10-6 to St. Helens on Monday, but the Tigers also feel like they’re about to break through in a big way.

“We have the potential to be a good team,” said Katie Chabreck, who, as a sophomore returning starter, is one of the team’s veteran players. “I think we can go far. We just need to keep a positive attitude.”by: DAN BROOD - TAG AT THIRD -- Tigard freshman third baseman Kalyna Korok (right) tries to catch St. Helens sophomore Mariah Mulcahy off the base during Monday's game.

The Tigers seemed to keep things positive in Monday’s game, which was a non-league contest played at Tigard High School. The found themselves facing an early 4-0 deficit and kept battling back from there, pushing three runs across the plate in the bottom of the seventh inning.

“We have a really young group, but they hit the ball hard and really kept at it,” Tigard coach Gary Edwards said. “We did some little things good today.”

St. Helens, coached by Gary Edwards’ brother, Jeff Edwards, improved to 2-1 on the season with the win. Tigard dropped to 0-3 with the setback.

The Lions struck quick in the contest, getting four runs in the top of the first inning. Sophomore Courtney Anderson had the big hit of the frame for St. Helens, with a two-out double to center field, which plated both freshman Taylor Leal and sophomore Alyssa Giebers.

Tigard got one of those runs back in the bottom of the inning. Tiger freshman leadoff hitter Dena Emmons laced the first pitch she saw to right field for a triple. She came around to score on the play on a St. Helens throwing error, cutting the margin to 4-1.

The Lions tacked on a run in the top of the second to up their lead to 5-1. Sophomore Michelle Sass hit a two-out double to center field and she scored on a bloop single to center off the bat of sophomore Mariah Mulcahy.

The score stayed at 5-1 until the top of the fourth inning, when St. Helens pushed three more runs across the plate. Senior Susannah Sass and Michelle Sass drew back-to-back walks to lead off the inning. They both came around to score on a double by Mulcahy, making the score 7-1. Mulcahy then scored on an RBI single by freshman Ashley Giebers, giving the Lions a seven-run cushion.

Tigard, trying to battle back, scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Hannah Spadafora drew a walk to lead off the frame and Emmons followed with a bunt single. Both runners then moved up a base on a sacrifice bunt by Chabreck.

Freshman Ramsey Hare then drove in both Spadafora and Emmons with a two-out single to right-center field, making the score 8-3.

Mulcahy tripled to the fence in left field to lead off the top of the sixth inning for St. Helens. Leal followed with an RBI single. The Lions pushed another run across the plate in the frame to up their lead to 10-3.

The Tigers still trailed by a 10-3 margin going into the bottom of the seventh inning. But they kept battling, and they seemed to try their best to make things interesting.

Chabreck led off the frame with a single to center. Sophomore Kayla Saldana followed with a single to left field. Hare then tripled to right field, driving in both Chabreck and Saldana to make the score 10-5. Hare then scored on a groundout by freshman Kalyna Korok to trim the margin to 10-6. Tigard got a two-out single by Lexi Kelly, but the Tigers couldn’t get any closer as Mulcahy, who pitched the distance for St. Helens, got a game-ending strikeout.

“We were down on ourselves early in the game,” said Chabreck, who had two hits in the contest in addition to pitching a scoreless inning in relief. “But then we started pumping each other up. A lot has to do with energy.”

Tigard had 11 base hits against the hard-throwing Mulcahy.

“We’ll only see two of three better pitchers than her the rest of the year,” Gary Edwards said.

“I was really impressed with our hitting,” Chabreck said.

Emmons led the hitting attack, going 3 for 4 at the plate with a triple and two runs scored. Hare went 2 for 4 with a triple, four RBIs and a run scored.

Chabreck and Kelly added two hits apiece. Lyssa Rabideau and Saldana added one hit apiece for the Tigers.

Mulcahy, in addition to recording nine strikeouts in the pitcher’s circle for St. Helens, also had three hits and three RBIs in the game.

Tigard was scheduled to play at Wilsonville in a non-league game on Wednesday. Results of that game weren’t available when the Times went to press.

The Tigers will be back in action today (Thursday) when they host Sunset in a non-league game set to start at 5 p.m. at Tigard High School.

Tigard will then travel south to play in the North Medford Spring Break Invitational Monday and Tuesday. The Tigers will face Henley and Springfield Monday at the invitational. They’ll face both Crater and David Douglas on Tuesday.



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