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Tigard gets off to roaring start at tourney


The team goes 4-0 in pool play at the state tournament

by: DAN BROOD - DEFENSIVE -- Tigard first baseman Abby Soderquist (left) gets ready to tag out Hood River's Solilo Brun during Friday's opening game at the Oregon Little League state tournament.SCAPPOOSE — The Tigard Little League ages 9-10 all-star softball team was looking to get off to a good start at the Oregon State Tournament.

Mission accomplished.

The Tigard squad stormed the tourney by roaring to an 11-0, four-inning win over Hood River in a tournament pool play opener played Friday at Chinook Fields in Scappoose.

“This is very exciting,” Tigard’s Taylor Corcoran said after the game. “To win our first game is a great way to start.”

“It’s cool, but I knew we’d do it,” Tigard’s Alexa VanderSommen said.

“We all were pumped up and we helped each other,” Abby Soderquist added.

Sparked by the impressive opening victory, the Tigard team went on to win its other three pool play games at the state tournament, earning a spot in the semifinal round.

“This first game was important,” Corcoran said.

And a motivated Victoria Vanderburg helped the Tigard squad get its first-game victory. Vanderburg pitched the first two innings of the win over Hood River. In her two innings of work, Vanderburg didn’t allow any hits while striking out five batters and walking one.

“My older sister (Liz Vanderburg), went to state,” Vanderburg said. “Ever since my sister pitched at state, I also wanted to. It got me inspired.”

“When she’s on, she’s on,” Tigard manager Steven Dardis said of Vanderburg.

After Vanderburg shut down Hood River in the top of the first inning of Friday’s game, Tigard struck for four runs in the bottom of the frame.

by: DAN BROOD - BRING THE HEAT -- Tigard's Taylor Corcoran gets ready to unleash a pitch during the win over Hood River.Riley White got the inning started for Tigard with a leadoff single down the right-field line. White moved to second on a groundout by Kaitlyn Gearin and then she advanced to third on a single by Sophia VanderSommen. Corcoran then drew a walk to load the bases with one out.

Vanderburg then came up with the first big hit of the game, as she doubled to right field, driving in both White and Sophia VanderSommen to give Tigard a quick 2-0 lead.

One out later, both Corcoran and Vanderburg came around to score on an infield single by Kaylee Mo, upping the early margin to 4-0.

Tigard struck for three more runs in the bottom of the second inning. Grace Nelson drew a walk to lead off the frame. Nelson then stole second base, moved to third on a wild pitch and then scored on a passed ball to up the lead to 5-0.

White, who also walked, ended up stealing home to make the score 6-0. Gearin, who also drew a walk, would score from third on a groundout by Corcoran to push the margin to 7-0.

After a scoreless third inning, Tigard put the game away by scoring four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning.

White again got things going for Tigard with a one-out infield single. Walks to Gearin and Emily Torres loaded the bases. White then scored on an infield single by Corcoran to make the score 8-0. With two outs in the inning, Soderquist drew a bases-loaded walk, bringing home Gearin to up the lead to 9-0.

Torres and Corcoran then both scored on a single by Mo, giving Tigard an 11-0 lead and ending the game due to the 10-run lead mercy rule.

by: DAN BROOD - WINNING SMILES -- Tigard's Victoria Vanderburg (left) and Taylor Corcoran are all smiles following the team's victory over Hood River.“This game was very important,” Dardis said. “The girls have focused from the beginning. They’ve put in two-and-a-half hours of practice a day since June 17 with only two days off, and there has been no complaining. They’ve worked very hard for this.”

“We played really well as a team,” Soderquist said.

White, providing a spark out of the leadoff spot in the order, went 2 for 2 at the plate with a walk, three runs scored and a stolen base. Mo went 2 for 3 at the plate with four RBIs. Sophia VanderSommen, Vanderburg and Corcoran each had one hit.

Corcoran pitched the final two innings for Tigard. She gave up two hits while striking out three and walking none.

Tigard continued its pool play success on Saturday, when it got wins against both Klamath Falls and West Salem.

First, Tigard, getting four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, scored a come-from-behind 8-7 win over Klamath Falls.

Sophia VanderSommen pitched the final four innings of the game to get the win in the pitcher’s circle. Vanderburg went 3 for 3 at the plate in the victory and Gearin had a two-run single in the sixth inning.

Later in the day, Tigard got an 11-1 victory over West Salem.

Gearin and Sophia VanderSommen pitched for Tigard in the win. Vanderburg went 2 for 2 at the plate. Corcoran had an RBI single in the victory.

Tigard completed pool play on Sunday with a 14-6 win over Lents.

Mo had two hits and she drove in five runs in that victory. Sophia VanderSommen added a two-run single and Soderquist and Vanderburg each singled in a run. Corcoran was the winning pitcher.