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The Wolves sprint to 11-0 win over 1st-place Glencoe

by: DAN BROOD - NICE HIT -- Tualatin High School junior Nikki Miller (20) is congratulated by teammates Tanna Baggenstos (left) and Caitlyn Sung following her double against Glencoe. TUALATIN — A pregame pep talk — not needed.

How about a motivational speech? No thanks.

The Tualatin High School softball team didn’t need a bit of added inspiration.

All Tualatin girls had to do was look across the diamond, and remember.

The Timberwolves, facing Glencoe for the first time this season — and thinking back to last year, when they fell three times to the Crimson Tide, including a controversial state playoff quarterfinal setback — were already plenty fired up.

And those fired-up Wolves went out and rolled past Glencoe for an 11-0, five-inning win in a Pacific Conference showdown played last Thursday at Tualatin High School.

“I don’t know what to say,” Tualatin senior second baseman Beth Fanger said with a smile after the game. “That was big.”

“We played with a lot of heart,” Tualatin senior outfielder Katy Maleta added. “We really wanted this one.”

“This is great. It’s the best feeling,” Timberwolf junior catcher Nikki Miller said. “This one had more want to it for us. We had a chip on our shoulder — we wanted some redemption.”

Glencoe, sitting in first place in the Pacific Conference standings, fell to 7-1 in conference play and to 15-5 on the season to that point with the loss.

Tualatin improved to 6-2 in conference games to that point (14-5 overall), moving the Wolves to within one game of the Crimson Tide in the league standings.

“This was a great team win,” Miller said. “We have more confidence when we’re doing it as a team.”

by: DAN BROOD - CLOSING IN -- Tualatin junior pitcher Emily Sorem (left) and junior third baseman Alexa Kaplan coverge on a bunted ball during the Wolves' win over Glencoe.And, in last Thursday’s showdown with Glencoe, Tualatin sure seemed to do it as a team right from the very start.

After Tualatin junior pitcher Emily Sorem stranded Glencoe senior Courtney Clayton, who hit a two-out double, on second base in the top of the first inning, the Wolves came out swinging in their half of the frame.

Tualatin sophomore Caitlyn Sung singled to center to lead off the bottom of the first inning, and the Wolves took off from there. Fanger and junior Joslyn Gastiaburu followed with back-to-back infield singles to load the bases.

Sung and Fanger then both came around to score when Glencoe committed an error following a fielder’s choice grounder by sophomore Camryn Robbins, giving the home team a quick 2-0 lead.

Gastiaburu then scored on Miller’s infield single to up the early margin to 3-0.

Robbins would eventually score on a fielder’s choice grounder by junior Alexa Kaplan. And then, after sophomore Hannah Self doubled to right field, Kaplan came home on a single by junior Sarah Kailiuli to cap off the big opening inning and give Tualatin a 5-0 lead.

The Wolves then added another run in the bottom of the second inning.

Fanger led off the inning with a line-drive single to left field. Singles by Robbins and Miller loaded the bases with one out. Kaplan then drove in a run with a fielder’s choice grounder to up the lead to 6-0.

by: DAN BROOD - BACKHAND -- Tualatin junior shortstop Joslyn Gastiaburu makes a stop during the Wolves' win over Glencoe.Tualatin then all but put the game away by scoring five more times in the bottom of the third inning.

Kailiuli hit a leadoff single to right to ignite the big inning. Kailiuli moved to second base on a wild pitch and then scored on sophomore Tanna Baggenstos’ single to center field. One out later, Fanger ripped a line-drive single to center field on an 0-2 pitch, plating Baggenstos to give the Wolves an 8-0 advantage.

They weren’t done yet.

After Gastiaburu reached base on a Glencoe error, Robbins singled to center field, driving in Fanger to make the score 9-0. Miller then doubled off the fence in left field, with the ball causing a loud thud as it hit the middle of the fence, with Gastiaburu and Robbins both scoring on the hit to up the margin to 11-0.

“I need to get one over,” Miller said. “We’ll get there.”

Sorem and the Wolves then shut out Glencoe over the final two innings to wrap up the 11-0 victory.

“We talked as a team,” Fanger said. “We had each other’s backs. We know that when we get girls out there on base, we need to get them in.”

There might have been something else to the win.

“We changed our rituals before the game,” Fanger said. “We did everything different.”

“In the outfield, we changed our handshakes,” Maleta added.

“I think we may keep these for awhile,” Fanger said.

The Wolves, as a team, had 14 base hits in the victory.

Miller went 3 for 3 at the plate with a double and two RBIs. Fanger went 3 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI. Robbins went 2 for 3 with two runs scored and two RBIs and Kailiuli went 2 for 2 with a run and an RBI. Sung, Self, Gastiaburu and Baggenstos added on hit apiece.

Sorem, in pitching the shutout, gave up six hits while striking out 12 and walking one in five innings of work.

“Emily rocked it,” Fanger said.

“Emily stood in there,” Maleta added.

Now, following the inspired win, Tualatin is looking to keep its intensity up for the rest of the season.

“Our goal is to come out every day like we’re playing Glencoe,” Fanger said.

“We want to keep playing our game,” Maleta said. “We’re so pumped up.”

by: DAN BROOD - ALL AROUND -- Tualatin coach Jenna Wilson gives high fives to the Timberwolf players following the 11-0 victory over Glencoe.“This win changes our whole momentum. We’re really excited for the playoffs,” Fanger said.

Tualatin followed up the win over Glencoe by getting a 4-0 win over Hillsboro in a conference game played Friday at Hillsboro High School. On Monday, the Wolves rolled to an 11-1 home victory over McMinnville. Tualatin was slated to play at Century on Wednesday. Results of that game weren’t available when The Times went to press.

The Wolves will be back in action Friday when they host rival Tigard in a conference game starting at 5 p.m. On Tuesday, Tualatin will travel to Glencoe for a 5 p.m. rematch with the Crimson Tide.

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