by: JIM BESEDA/MOLALLA PIONEER - Colton junior Becky Patterson checked Gaston on four hits and one walk with five strikeouts in last week's 4-3 come-from-behind victory over the Greyhounds. Colton’s Mikaela Shelton got a pitch on the inner part of the plate and hit it the other way.

Shelton's soft, two-out single to right field pushed home Tavia Boll with the game-winning run in the seventh inning Friday, lifting the Vikings to a 4-3 non-conference victory over the Gaston Greyhounds at Colton Middle School.

Gaston jumped out to a 3-0 lead before Colton rallied with two runs in the fifth and one in the sixth to tie it.

In the seventh, Boll doubled to right with one out and advanced to third on Emily Miller’s two-out bunt single, setting the stage for Shelton.

“I just tried not to think of anything, go up there relaxed, and hit the ball,” said Shelton, the senior shortstop. “The pitch was inside and I swung a little bit late on it, but it worked.”

Natalie Schaffner and Caitlyn Weinberger finished with two hits each for the Vikings, while Becky Patterson went the distance on the mound, scattering four hits with one walk and five strikeouts.

“It was an important win in that the players kept fighting,” Colton coach Jim Brochis said. “Even in the games we’ve lost somewhat badly, we’ve scored late, so this team fights until the end, and this game was indicative of how important it is to keep fighting.”

After shuffling players around early in the season, Brochis seems to have settled on a lineup that works. At least, the Vikings have found a way over the past four weeks to follow up each loss with a victory, going 4-4 over that stretch.

“Really, in theory, we’ve been playing really well,” said Brochis, whose roster has two seniors, three juniors, five sophomores, and two freshmen. “I believe we’re moving in the right direction.”

The Vikings defeated Sheridan 10-7 Tuesday for their second consecutive win and were sheduled to return to action Friday with a 5 p.m. road game against Willamina.

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