The local all-stars finish pool play 2-2 after a 9-7 win vs. Canada Monday
by: MILES VANCE, HIGH FIVE — Cedar Mill's Erin Gray exchanges a high five with manager Bob Ryder after hitting a two-run triple in the fourth inning of her team's 9-6 win over Canada on Monday in the Little League Softball World Series at Alpenrose.

PORTLAND - Call it guts.

Call it heart.

Call it perseverance.

Call it Cedar Mill.

Cedar Mill's Majors all-stars came from behind to win with another gritty performance Monday in the Little League Softball World Series at Alpenrose, using a six-run fourth inning to rally past Canada's Layritz Little League of British Columbia 9-7 and close pool play at 2-2.

Despite the team's solid play at the Series, Cedar Mill finished third in its pool and did not make the tournament semifinals.

'We're pretty happy (with our play), but we're a little bummed out we didn't make the semifinals,' said Cedar Mill shortstop Madeline Fey, who doubled home two runs in her team's watershed fourth inning.

'There was a lot of energy they expended in that game last night, and to come back and play with that kind of heart again just shows what they have in them and makes me so proud of them,' said Cedar Mill manager Bob Ryder.

After the back-and-forth tussle of Sunday's game against Pequannock, New Jersey, and the disappointment of not making the tournament semifinals, you might have forgiven Cedar Mill if it weren't quite at its best on Monday, but that was not the case. Cedar Mill took the early lead against Canada with a three-run second inning that included two walks and a hit batter by Canada pitcher Sarah Chow, a two-run single over shortstop by Kim Ryder and Cedar Mill's third run on a wild pitch.

Likewise, however, Canada showed some resiliency Monday, answering with a four-run third highlighted by Zee Smith's grand slam home run over the right field fence off Cedar Mill starter Sarah Wilson. Canada then extended its lead to 6-3 in the fourth thanks to a two-run single by Shay Crisp.

But Cedar Mill wasn't going to go down without a fight, and fight back it did in its half of the fourth. Dakota Stewart got things going with a single, Cara Cason walked and Kim Ryder reached on an error to load the bases with one out. Stewart scored on a wild pitch to make it 6-4, and after Katie Mardesich walked, Jessie Moore greeted reliever Smith with an RBI walk and Madeline Fey followed with a chopper to center field that brought home two more runs. Grey then added the capper when she tripled to the fence in right-center field to bring in two more runs for a 9-6 Cedar Mill lead.

'It was kind of a meatball,' Grey said of the pitch she hit for her triple. 'The one that I hit was a meatball, and then when Madeline hit the one, it was a meatball too.'

'This game was not much different from the game yesterday except we got the one solid hit from Erin,' Bob Ryder said. 'That was the defining moment again. We were behind twice and we came back twice. Like I said all along, they will not lay down.'

Canada's last-gasp effort came in the top of the fifth when Ashley Schenk reached base on a fielder's choice and scored later on Ally McLaren's single to right, but Kim Ryder, on in relief of Wilson, got Meaghan Pohozoff to ground to shortstop to end the fifth and pitched a perfect sixth for the save.

Kim Ryder, Fey and Grey each finished with one hit and two RBIs, while Mardesich added her team's other hit. Wilson allowed six runs on nine hits and one walk with one strikeout, while Ryder gave up two hits and one unearned run in her two innings.

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