But Forest Grove ends Clackamas win string at 16

by: JONATHAN HOUSE - Oregon City third baseman Morgan Bookout prepares to put the tag on Clackamas Melissa Noble in last Fridays game at Clackamas. The Cavaliers won 4-3 in extra innings and upped their league record to 12-0 with the victory.It wasn’t a great week. But it was a good week for Clackamas High School’s softball team last week.

The Cavaliers faced disappointment on April 30, when they had a 16-game win string come to an end with a 12-11 extra-inning loss to Forest Grove. The game was the completion of an earlier game that was suspended after 4-1/2 innings because of the Hood View Softball Complex time limit.

The Cavaliers also played three league games last week and they won all three, improving their league record to 12-0 (18-4 overall) and locking up first place in the Three Rivers League.

West Linn (12-9, 8-4) was second in the league — four games back — heading into this the final week of the TRL season.

Clackamas was scheduled to wrap up the regular season hosting Lakeridge (10-12, 4-8) on Monday (May 6), playing at West Linn this afternoon, and playing at Canby (12-10, 5-7) on Thursday.

“I’m so proud of these guys,” said Clackamas coach Dave Just. “They’ve run the table in league, and that’s not easy to do. It was a total team effort, and I’m really proud of them.”

Just said he didn’t think the end to the win string would have a negative impact on the way his charges perform through the remainder of the season.

“I think they’ll be fine,” he said. “It’s just one of those things that happen. Of course, you’d like to see it continue. But life goes on. And I liked the way they bounced back after the loss [with wins over Lake Oswego and Oregon City].

“In the Oregon City game, we were down 3-1 with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, and they came back. We haven’t had a lot of games like that where we’ve had to come from behind, but they stayed patient. And they got it done.”

Friday’s game with the Pioneers was a barnburner. The Cavaliers got off to a slow start, spotting their guests three runs in the top of the first.

Kaitlynn Donaca and Bri Spencer started off the game with base hits, advanced to second and third on a wild pitch; and Stefanie Snow plated Donaca with a sacrifice fly. Morgan Bookout followed with a two-run home run, making it 3-0 Oregon City with the game barely underway.

Clackamas got a run back in the bottom of the first. Melissa Noble rapped a two-out single and advanced to third on a base hit by Vanessa Oakden. Noble scored on a successful first-and-third steal.

The two teams then went scoreless until Clackamas’ two-out rally in the bottom of the seventh. Ashley Filler started things out with a one-out single. With two down, Noble and Oakden hit back-to-back singles to bring one run across. Mariah Scholes drew a walk, McKenzie Giancola connected for a base hit, and it was all tied up at 3-3.

The Pioneers got two baserunners on in the top of the eighth, but couldn’t move them around.

Cassie Haehlen led off the bottom of the eighth with a base hit, advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Sydney Opoka, moved to third when Filler beat out a ground ball for an infield single, and scored the game-winner when Madison Vrabel hit an 0-0 pitch over the head of Oregon City’s shortstop.

Oakden (3-for-4) led the Cavaliers at the plate as they reached Oregon City pitcher Devin Halley for 12 hits. Halley recorded four strikeouts and issued eight free passes.

Vrabel pitched a complete game for Clackamas, striking out four, walking one and giving up eight hits, keeping them scattered after struggling in the first inning.

Bookout (3-for-4, home run, double) led Oregon City at the plate.

In other games played last week, the Cavaliers rode an early lead to a 5-2 win over Canby, and they scored big in the later innings en route to an 18-4 six-inning blowout of Lake Oswego.

The Cavaliers strung four hits together in a four-run first inning in the win over Canby. Filler (2-for-4) singled, Giancola reached on a fielder’s choice, and Filler scored on a base hit by Noble. Oakden walked and Giancola scored on a base hit by Scholes. A third run was forced in when Vrabel got hit by a pitch. And Allie Anderegg singled to bring around a fourth run.

Amanda Zehr and Vrabel shared pitching duties, combining to strike out four and walk one, while yielding five hits and one earned run.

The Cavaliers unleashed their bats for 15 hits in last week’s rout of Lake Oswego. Eight different Clackamas players got hits and nine scored runs.

Coach Just showcased his seniors in the game, starting Jessica Engle at second base, Rachel Atchison in right field, Opoka in centerfield, Scholes at designated hitter, Oakden at third, Noble at first, and Anderegg at shortstop.

Heading up the Cavalier offensive onslaught were: Scholes (3-for-4, two-run triple, 2 runs), Oakden (2-for-4, double, 4 RBI), Zehr (2-for-4, three-run triple, 2 runs), Engle (2-for-4, 2 runs), Filler (2-for-4, double, 2 runs) and Noble (2-for-5, double, 4 runs).

Vrabel (5 strikeouts, one walk, 3 hits, 2 earned runs) pitched a complete game.

As TRL champions, the Cavaliers will host a first-round state playoff game on Monday, May 20.

This is the second consecutive league championship for the Cavaliers, who lost at 2012 state champion North Medford 5-4 in extra innings in last year’s semifinals.

Heading into play this week, the Cavaliers sported a .331 team batting average. Leading hitters were: Scholes (.473), Filler (.453, 27 runs scored), Giancola (.397, 26 RBI, 13 extra-base hits), Oakden (.397), Noble (.375) and Vrabel (.333).

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