The throbbing in Abby Greer’s throat paled in comparison to the pit in the sophomore’s stomach as Westview’s ace watched her team struggle against Jesuit on April 16.

Stricken with a nasty case of strep throat that hindered her against Aloha, and eventually sidelined the hurler versus the Crusaders, it was all the ill Greer could do to not gambol out of the stands, snatch the ball in the circle and go to work. The Wildcats were jumped, 6-1, by Jesuit, leaving Westview in a first-place tie in Metro.

Chomping at the bit to deliver and come through for her teammates, a rested and recouped Greer guzzled Beaverton on Friday, striking out 10 batters while allowing just two base runners in a sunny, 10-0, six-inning scathing. Greer mixed a surly curveball with a rise ball that the sophomore used repeatedly to punch out the hack-happy Beavers.

“I was really excited to pitch again,” said Greer. “I was mad I had to miss the last game. It was hard just watching. But, my defense played good, and we scored a lot of runs, so that helped.”

“I want to say she’s a perfect pitcher for high school,” added junior catcher Katie Whetstine. “She hits her spots, she has everything down for her pitches. She can do it all for us.”

Beaverton junior catcher Ione Gasser said the Beavers had heard rumors of Greer developing a nasty rise ball to accompany her outside fastball and loopy curve.

When it was time to step up to the plate, even with the aforementioned knowledge, the Beavers had trouble making contact.

“It was tough, but props to (Greer) for throwing a good game,” said Gasser.

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Westview freshman Natalie Munson drove home a run with an RBI bloop single against Beaverton.

Turn up the volume

Aiding Greer’s comeback was a six-run outpouring in the top of the fourth during which Westview loaded the bases, then scored on a wild pitch to go up 3-0. Senior outfielder Christy Garrett brought home freshman Natalie Munson with a bloop single to extend the lead to 4-0.

Whetstine — hitting in the cleanup spot and swinging a hot bat as of late — followed by ruining a fastball down the heart of the dish that moonshotted out to left-center and scored two, giving Greer a 6-0 lead.

“We’ve struggling to score runs, so that gives us a little more confidence,” said Greer. “Having that kind of cushion makes me feel a lot better. I think we’re playing really well right now, and that’s giving us more confidence for the rest of the season.”

Senior third baseman Makenah Robarts tacked on a sacrifice fly, and senior shortstop Christian Uhl hustled out an RBI groundout to go up 8-0 in the fourth.

“We motivate each other based on our energy,” said Whetstine. “We stay loud, up and invested in each other’s at-bats. And, we know what to do in situations when people are on base.”

Whetstine wasn’t done reveling in Beaverton’s reeling, either. In the top of the sixth, after a Jordan Lowman bunt single, the first-team, all-league backstop wacked another double, this time to the gap in right-center. Lowman legged it home from first without a slide, and Whetstine smartly advanced to third as Beaverton tried to catch Lowman at the dish. Whetstine’s canny base running resulted in another run when Robarts drove her in with an RBI groundout to balloon the bump to 10-0. The scoring output was Westview’s second highest of the season.

“We feed off each other and make sure we stay positive no matter what we do, knowing that we’re playing for each other,” said Whetstine. “If we play for each other, then we’re playing for the team and scoring runs like we did.”

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Beaverton senior centerfielder Emily John fires a ball toward home plate in the fifth inning of the Beavers loss to Westview on Friday.

Strong connections

Whetstine said the Wildcats have at least one class together during the school day and create bonds that carry over to the softball field every day. Additionally, some of Westview’s players, such as Whetstine and Greer, play on the same summer ASA teams

“Our connection is unbreakable,” said Whetstine. “Nothing can tear us apart. If I know she’s having a rough day, I sit there and have a pep talk with her. I try to be there for each one of my players when I need to be. That’s our bond.”

Beaverton freshman pitcher Savannah Dickson dueled with Greer for four innings, flip-flopping scoreless stanzas until the Beaver defense danced into fourth-inning trouble.

Westview mounted the bases with an infield single and two bunts that Beaverton couldn’t cleanly field and release in time to help its young hurler out.

“(Dickson) was pitching really well, but we couldn’t support her like we should’ve,” said Gassner. “But, we’ll get ‘em next time and play tougher.”

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Beaverton senior shortstop Kaitlin Collins is one of the Beaver upperclassmen guiding a young, but talented team this spring.

The Beavers started league play on the right foot, upsetting Southridge, 8-7, with a band of youthful starters and a handful of experienced stars such as centerfielder Emily John and Gassner behind the dish.

“I think we’re going to be a team that people don’t expect because we’re so young,” said Gassner. “We’re coming off a growing year, but with the work of (head coach) Roni (Illias) and our young, developing girls, I think we can still have a successful season.”

Defense and hitting consistently have been the Beavers’ best fortes early on as Beaverton has started the young Metro season 1-3.

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Beaverton junior catcher Ione Gasser lets a throw go in the third inning of the Beavers tough loss to Westview.

“I think we can beat any of the teams in Metro if we play hard and play as well as we should,” said Gassner. “Metro is going to be tough for any of the teams, but I think we can do it. This game is just one of three for Westview. We need to move on and continue throughout Metro and be successful.”

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