Strong pitching gets the Lions wins over Lakeridge and Canby

The West Linn softball team won two of its last three games to move into a tie for second place in the Three Rivers League at the midway point of league.

On Monday, the Lions got revenge from an earlier 7-1 loss to Canby with a solid 4-2 victory.

Freshman hurler Sara VonAhn gave up a run in the first inning on a pair of walks and a sacrifice fly but didn't give up a hit until late in the game as she continued her strong run on the mound.

West Linn evened the game in the bottom of the third on three straight singles by Briana Barzola, Maddy Higgins and Caroline Freiling.

The Lions took the lead in the next inning. Leah Beyer drew a two-out walk and moved to second on a single by Hallie Olmstead. Barzola then hit an RBI single to plate Beyer.

In the bottom of the fifth, Katie Wells drove in Mackenzie Hartdegen with an RBI single to add some insurance and tacked on one more in the bottom of the sixth. Barzola singled and moved to second on a groundout. She would then score on a two-out single by Freiling.

VonAhn recorded the first out in the seventh inning before giving up her first hit of the game. Canby then came up with an RBI double before VonAhn recorded the last two outs for the win.

“When we went through the schedule the first time, I thought Canby might be the best team in the league. We really played well,” coach Jamie LeVeque said.

The victory followed a 4-0 loss against Oregon City. The Pioneers received a stellar pitching performance as the Lions mustered just two infield hits and struck out 11 times.

Oregon City scored three runs in the first inning but just one more for the remainder of the game.

The Lions' only real threat to score came in the bottom of the third inning. Hannah Sicilliani was hit by a pitch and Barzola reached on a bunt single. Higgins followed with a bunt single to load the bases and, with two outs, Freiling flied out to deep centerfield.

West Linn also knocked off Lakeridge 3-0 last week behind another terrific showing from VonAhn. She gave up four hits and struck out seven batters, keeping the Pacers off balance all game.

The Lions scored twice in the top of the third. Hitting from the No. 9 hole, Sicilliani led off with a single and moved to second on a bunt single by Barzola.

“When you get people on in front of the top of the order it really helps you out,” LeVeque said.

She would later score on a wild pitch and Freiling would plate Barzola with an RBI single.

Sicilliani continued her big game in the next inning when she hit a two-out single to plate Hartdegen, who led off the inning by reaching on an error.

West Linn faced winless Lake Oswego on Wednesday and will play Clackamas on Thursday.

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