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The Lions face No. 5 Westview with a historic berth in the quarterfinals on the line

by: DAVE BALL - Ireland Bell celebrates after scoring a run in Monday's playoff victory. Bell circled the bases after an errant throw went down the right field line in the second inning.West Linn's softball team was all business Monday, hosting its opening playoff game against Reynolds. The Lions got another gutsy performance on the mound from Sarah Von Ahn and took advantage of every inch that Raiders gave them.

Reynolds threatened to put West Linn in an early hole, loading the bases in the top of the first before Von Ahn bore down and worked out of the jam.

“I don't really change my mentality at all. I just try not to throw it down the middle,” Von Ahn said.

Instead, it was the Lions who would draw first blood with Von Ahn singling with two outs and moving into scoring position on a wild pitch before Caroline Freiling plated her with an RBI single.

“I really work hard to try and get us a lead of any kind because I think any team plays better with a lead. We wanted to make them chase us,” coach Scott Smith said.

West Linn would tack on another run early in the second inning. Ireland Bell put a ball in play to the left side. The throw to first base sailed wide and rolled down the right field line. Bell never stopped running, going all the way home to put her team up 2-0.

In the bottom of the third, West Linn kept the pressure on when Von Ahn was hit by a pitch and Freiling followed with another single.

Those runners moved up on a wild pitch and Mackenzie Hartdegen followed with a sacrifice fly. Leah Beyer then reached on an error to make it 4-0.

Reynolds started to slowly build some momentum, plating a run in the top of the fourth and the fifth, but West Linn would add some insurance in the bottom of the fifth.

Freiling led off by drawing a walk and Hartdegen reached on an infield single. Beyer then laid down a sacrifice bunt and Jacqueline Remington was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Danielle Delbene then hit a ball that got under the shortstop's glove, scoring a pair of key runs.

With a four-run cushion, Von Ahn yielded just one baserunner in the final two frames to lock down the victory for West Linn.

The Lions moved on to face No. 5 Westview Wednesday, the Metro League champions who had won 12 straight games heading into the game.

West Linn was looking to reach the quarterfinals for the first time in the program's history. Results were not available at press time.

“We're just trying to make more history,” Freiling said.

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