TC beats Tigard in the District 4 tourney opener, but both teams are playing strong as the event goes on
by: DAN BROOD, SHE’S SAFE — Tualatin City’s Britta Hall (right) slides safely for a run before Tigard’s Shayna Curtis can grab the ball in Saturday’s game at the District 4 ages 9-10 softball tournament at Alpenrose Dairy.

PORTLAND - Strong pitching, clutch hitting, aggressive base running and some flawless, amazing defense.

It all added up very nicely for the Tualatin City Little League softball team of 9-10 year-olds.

Tualatin City seemed to put everything together as it opened play at the District 4 all-star tournament by scoring an 11-1 win over a tough Tigard team in a tourney opener played Saturday at Alpenrose Dairy.

'They played awesome,' Tualatin City manager Joelle Fanger said of her team. 'That was the best defense I've seen. The defense was huge, because Tigard hits the ball well.'

'Our girls played with a lot of heart,' Tigard manager Avery Carter said. 'Tualatin played very sound. Give them credit. Our girls hit the ball, but they hit it right at them.'

Tualatin City, in Saturday's game, scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning to grab a quick 4-0 lead.

Britta Hall got things started for TC with a leadoff bunt single. Madeline Powelson followed with a triple to right field, bringing home Hall with the game's first run. Shelby Doering then singled in Powelson to make the score 2-0.

One out later, Beth Fanger drew a walk and she then stole second base. Doering and Fanger then both scored on a Tigard throwing error to up the margin to 4-0.

Tigard answered back, getting a run in the top of the second inning. Shelly Ramirez reached first base on a one-out single. She then scored when Hannah Bailey doubled to center field.

Tualatin City scored three runs in its half of the second inning to make the score 7-1. Hall got things started again with a bunt single coming with one out in the frame. She moved to third on an error and then scored on a wild pitch.

Doering walked and ended up scoring on a wild pitch for the second run of the frame. Fanger singled in Jacqueline Sheridan later in the inning to up the lead to 7-1.

Doering, Sheridan and Fanger all scored for Tualatin City in the bottom of the fourth inning, making the score 10-1 at that point.

TC scored the game's final run in the fifth inning when Fanger plated Sheridan with a two-out single to center field.

Tualatin City had eight hits in the win. Hall had three hits, Fanger two and Powelson, Doering and Sheridan each had one.

Hall picked up a complete-game pitching win for Tualatin City. She gave up five hits while striking out two and walking one.

TC also played errorless defense. Jasmine Suyematsu, playing in right field, turned in one of the big plays on defense as, in the first inning, she threw out a Tigard batter at first base on a hard-hit ball to right.

'That was a huge play,' Joelle Fanger said. 'We really had everything come together today. This win was huge because Tigard is a strong team. If we keep playing like this, we should be fine.'

Alexis Carter had two hits, including a triple, for Tigard in the contest. Ramirez, Bailey and Anna Warren each had a hit. Shayna Curtis, pitching for Tigard, had nine strikeouts.

'We got the jitters out of the way,' Avery Carter said. 'We need to bounce back tomorrow.'

Tigard, on Sunday, scored an 18-2 win over Murrayhill in its second game in pool play.

On Monday, Tualatin City fell 9-5 to Beaverton Area.

In Tuesday's play, Tigard rolled to a 15-5 win over Sun Creek and Tualatin City downed Murrayhill 15-2.

On Wednesday, Tigard faced Beaverton Area and Tualatin City played Sun Creek. Results of those games weren't available when the Times went to press.

Today (Thursday), the No. 2 seed out of pool play faces the No. 3 seed in a tournament semifinal game. It looks to be a good possibility that today's game could be a Tigard-Tualatin City rematch.

On Friday, the top seed faces the No. 4 seed in the other semifinal.

The tournament third-place game will be played Saturday starting at 3 p.m. The district championship game will follow at 5:30 p.m.

The winner of the district tournament advances to play at the state tournament, which begins July 17 at Alpenrose Dairy.

Other members of the Tigard Little League all-star team include Emilee Cincotta, Brandee Hannahs, Audrey Abblitt, Brienna Bedard, Shelby Sanders and Laura Stephens. Reba Bailey is a coach for the team.

Other members of the Tualatin City Little League all-star team include Emily Barry, Madison Campbell, Gaby Correa, Brittany Dunford and Madison Hall. Michele Powelson is a coach with the team.

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