Both teams turn up the intensity in the softball clash

by: DAN BROOD - CAUGHT STEALING -- Tualatin High School sophomore shortstop Joslyn Gastiaburu holds up the ball after she tagged out Tigard's Lyssa Rabideau on a stolen base attempt in last week's game. TUALATIN — It’s a rivalry.

Anything can happen.

The rival Tigard and Tualatin high school softball teams both knew that. And they were both ready for a spirited battle.

The young Tiger squad, showing an abundance of enthusiasm, kept things very interesting for a while. But, the talented, determined Timberwolves weren’t about to be denied a victory over their rivals.

Tualatin, pulling away from the persistent Tigers in the final innings, scored an 8-2 victory over Tigard in a Pacific Conference game played April 17 at Tualatin High School.

“That was so much fun,” Tualatin senior third baseman Maddie Powelson said. “Tigard is great competition, and they came out strong.”

“This is always a good rivalry,” Tualatin sophomore catcher Nicole Miller said. “We kept our energy going today. This was extra fun — playing Tigard always gets your blood going.”

With the loss, Tigard fell to 3-2 in Pacific Conference play and to 5-10 on the season to that point.

“We battled,” said Tiger freshman shortstop Dena Emmons, who hit a double in the contest. “It was great. We’re getting better.”

Tualatin moved to 5-0 in league games and to 15-2 overall to that point with the win.

“That was really fun,” said Timberwolf freshman Caitlyn Sung, who made a sliding catch in right field for the final out of the contest. “We wanted to come out with a lot of energy — especially against Tigard.”

The energetic Timberwolves got off to a fast start to the game, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning.

Sung got things going in the frame with a leadoff single to center field. Tualatin junior Beth Fanger followed with a bunt single, with Sung scoring on a throwing error on the play, giving the Wolves a quick 1-0 lead.

Tualatin kept the inning going. Fanger moved to second base on a groundout by senior Shelby Doering. She then advanced to third base when Tigard committed an error on a ball batted by Tualatin senior Ashlynn Schmitt. Fanger then scored on a bunt by Powelson, beating the throw to the plate to up the margin to 2-0.

Schmitt would then score on a single by freshman Camryn Robbins to cap off the Wolves’ three-run first inning.

The Tigers cut into Tualatin’s lead with a run in the top of the third inning. Sophomore Emilee Heyden led off the frame with a single to left field. She moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by freshman Hannah Spadafora.

Emmons followed with a deep blast to left-center field, with the ball hitting the bottom of the fence, resulting in an RBI double.

“That felt great,” Emmons said. “I thought I had a chance for a home run.”

The score stayed at 3-1 until the bottom of the fourth inning, when Tualatin was able to add on a run. Sophomore Joslyn Gastiaburu reached second base on a Tigard error with two outs in the inning. She then scored on sophomore Alexa Kaplan’s slicing single to right field, upping the margin to 4-1.

The Wolves got another run in the fifth inning, when Fanger, who led off the inning with a single, scored on a passed ball to make the score 5-1.

But the Tigers wouldn’t give up. Tigard sophomore Kayla Saldana got her team going with a one-out infield single in the top of the fifth inning. Freshmen Ramsey Hare and Kalyna Korok followed with back-to-back singles to load the bases. Lexi Kelly was then hit by a pitch, forcing in Saldana to make the score 5-2.

Tualatin sophomore pitcher Emily Sorem then coaxed a foul out and a strikeout to prevent any further damage.

The Wolves then scored three runs in the bottom of the inning to all but put the game away.

Freshman Tanna Baggenstos led off the frame with a single to left field and Kaplan drew a one-out walk. They both came around to score on Fanger’s two-out single to push the margin to 7-2. Fanger scored later in the inning to cap off the Timberwolves’ scoring.

Tigard went down in order in the top of the seventh inning, with Sund making a sliding catch of a fly ball in shallow right field for the final out of the contest.

“I was nervous,” Sund said with a smile. “I just ran and caught it.”

After Sund’s catch, the Wolves began their victory celebration.

“We really came together as a team today,” Miller said. “And we made some good adjustments.”

“Our goal was to win every inning,” Powelson said. “We came together on defense and Emily came through.”

Tualatin, as a team, had nine base hits in the win.

Fanger led the offensive attack. She went 4 for 4 at the plate with three runs scored. Sund, Robbins, Kaplan, Doering and Baggenstos added one hit apiece.

Sorem, pitching all seven innings for the Wolves, gave up two runs on six hits while striking out 10 and walking none.

For Tigard, Heyden, Emmons, Lyssa Rabideau, Saldana, Hare and Korok each had one hit. Junior Liz Vanderburg, pitching the distance for the Tigers, gave up eight runs (two earned) while striking out one and walking one.

Both teams fell in league games on Friday. Tualatin was tipped 4-1 by Glencoe in a showdown for first place played Friday at Glencoe High School. The Tigers fell 6-0 at home to Newberg.

On Monday, the Wolves bounced back to get a 6-0 win at home against Newberg. Tigard fell 13-2 at home to Glencoe on Monday.

On Wednesday, Tualatin was slated to play at Forest Grove and Tigard traveled to McMinnville. Results of those games weren’t available when The Times went to press.

Both teams will be back in action Friday, the Wolves will host Hillsboro and Tigard will play at McMinnville in 5 p.m. league contests. On Monday, Tualatin will play at McMinnville and Tigard travels to Century for 5 p.m. league games.

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