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Warriors step on the accelerator

Aloha, aggressive on the basepaths, gets a 3-0 win over Beaverton


by: DAN BROOD - Aloha High School junior Michelle Silva (left) pops up at the plate as Beaverton sophomore catcher Ione Gassner grabs for the ball in the fourth inning of Monday's game. Silva scored on the play to help the Warriors get a 3-0 victory.ALOHA — It’s sometimes said that speed kills.

Well, that may or may not be true, but one thing is for certain — speed sure seemed to help the Aloha High School softball team score a key Metro League win over Beaverton.

The Warriors, seemingly taking advantage of every opportunity they had to advance a base throughout the contest, scored a hard-fought 3-0 victory over the Beavers in a league game played Monday at Aloha High School.

“We’ve been practicing on the bases for hours,” Aloha junior second baseman Michelle Silva said after the game. “I’m glad it paid off.”

With the win, Aloha improved to 4-3 in league play (9-6 overall), putting the Warriors in fourth place in the Metro League standings as they neared the midway point of the league season. The win also broke the team’s two-game losing skid, where they lost both contests by a single run.

“This game was really important to us,” Aloha junior shortstop Shelby Ratcliffe said. “We were in a slump. We wanted to rally on them.”

“This should be a positive for our team,” Silva said. “Hopefully, this will spring us.”

With the setback, Beaverton fell to 1-6 in Metro League games and to 7-7 on the season. Still, Monday’s result was better for the Beavers than the teams’ first meeting, when Aloha came away with a 10-0 victory.

“That was a good battle,” Beaverton senior pitcher Mackenzie Spencer said of Monday’s rematch. “It was a lot better than the first game we played them. Our defense was strong, but they hit the ball really well.”

The speedy Warriors also ran the bases really well in Monday’s game. In the contest, Aloha had three infield singles, two players safe in rundowns, three sacrifice bunts and one sacrifice fly.

“We were aggressive,” Silva said. “We really tried to put a lot of pressure on them.”

“That was a lot of fun,” Ratcliffe said.

Aloha broke a scoreless tie in Monday’s game with a run in the bottom of the third inning. Senior Kiana Wood got things started in the frame with a leadoff infield single. One out later, junior Katie Buchannan singled to left field, with courtesy runner Thalia Rojas moving to second base on the hit.

Sophomore Courtney Coombs then singled to right field. Rojas was caught in a rundown between third base and home on the play, but, making a quick break to the plate, she was able to score on the play to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead.

Aloha tacked on another run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Silva singled to right field to lead off the frame. She moves to second base on a sacrifice bunt and then advanced to third on an infield single by Wood.

Silva then scored on a sacrifice fly by Ratcliffe to up the Warriors’ lead to 2-0.

Beaverton put together a scoring threat in the top of the fifth inning. A single by Spencer and a walk put runners on first and second base with one out in the inning. But Wood, pitching for the Warriors, got a strikeout and she coaxed a pop out to get out of the jam.

The Beavers tried to get things going again in the top of the sixth inning, getting a leadoff single by junior Emily Johns, but she was left stranded.

Aloha was able to score an insurance run in the bottom of the inning. Senior Katie Newton hit a one-out slicing single to right field. She moved to second base on a groundout by Wood and then scored on Ratcliffe’s single to left field, pushing the lead to 3-0.

Beaverton, not giving up, got a leadoff single by junior Kaitlin Collins to open the top of the seventh inning. But Wood put down the next three Beaver batters in order to wrap up the 3-0 victory.

“That was a good win,” Ratcliffe said. “Right now, they’re all must-wins for us.”

Wood pitched a complete-game shutout for the Warriors. In seven innings of work, she gave up no runs on six hits while striking out 10 and walking one.

Aloha, as a team, had 11 base hits in the victory. Wood went 3 for 4 at the plate. Silva went 2 for 4 with a run scored. Buchannan had two hits and Ratcliffe drove in a pair of runs.

Spencer, in pitching a complete game for the Beavers, had five strikeouts and three walks.

“This game was good for us,” she said. “We’re building confidence on defense. We’re hitting the ball hard. We just need to string our hits together. That will come for us.”

Collins went 2 for 3 at the plate for the Beavers. Sophomore Cory Meyer, sophomore Ione Gassner, Spencer and John added one hit apiece.

Prior to Monday’s game, Aloha was edged 1-0 by league-leading Westview on the road on Friday. Beaverton fell 7-3 at home to Southridge on Friday.

On Wednesday, Aloha was scheduled to play at Sunset and Beaverton was slated to host Westview. Results of those games weren’t available when the Valley Times went to press.

Aloha and Beaverton will both be back in action today (Thursday). Aloha travels to Jesuit and Beaverton will play at Sunset in 5 p.m. league contests.

On Monday, Aloha will host Southridge at 5 p.m. On Tuesday, Beaverton will be home to face Jesuit at 5 p.m.

*****

In other Metro League softball action from Monday, Jesuit scored a 6-2 win over Westview, giving the Wildcats their first league loss of the season.

Westview still holds the top spot in the Metro League standings, at 6-1. Jesuit is tied with Southridge for the No. 2 spot in the standings, each at 5-2.

The Skyhawks got a 7-1 victory at Sunset on Monday. The Apollos moved to 0-7 in league play with the setback.




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  • 20 Dec 2014

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