The Pacers move to 3-1 in the balanced Three Rivers League

by: VERN UYETAKE - Lakeridge's Bailey Morris looks to turn a double play in the Pacers' victory last week. The Lakeridge softball team continues to impress, finding itself in a tie for first place in the Three Rivers League heading into Wednesday's showdown with West Linn.

The Pacers took care of Lake Oswego Wednesday 18-5, scoring early and coasting to a win.

All nine starters got hits for the Pacers who continue to get contributions up and down the line-up.

Both Chase Pearson and Alicia Loiler came up with run-scoring hits to key the offense early on.

“The top of the line-up has been doing its job but the bottom of our line-up has been really good as well and has keyed us in a lot of games,” coach Mike McCormack said.

Pearson got the start on the mound and Amy Adler did a nice job in relief after the Pacers took the lead.

That set up an important game with Clackamas Friday. Against a very strong starting pitcher, the Pacers struggled to string hits together and fell behind 1-0 early.

But, with two outs in the fifth inning, the Pacers were able to break through.

Pearson helped her own cause tremendously with a solo home run to finally put the Pacers on the board and tie the game.

That was followed by a double from Loiler and an RBI single up the middle from Kelley Erickson to put Lakeridge on top.

Pearson was then able to bear down and hold Clackamas scoreless for the remainder of the game, preserving the win and sending the Pacers to a 3-0 record.

After a rain-out Monday, Lakeridge then made up its game with Oregon City Tuesday and the Pacers struggled for the first time in league.

The Pacers' bats went quiet and Lakeridge committed an uncharacteristic six errors which led to five runs.

“That's not our brand of softball but, in some ways, it was good to get our first loss in league and see what that feels like,” McCormack said.

Lakeridge couldn't find a way to recover and fell 7-1. Pearson also injured her wrist on a slide in the game and Adler received the start on the mound Wednesday.

The loss set up a three-way tie for first place between West Linn, Oregon City and Lakeridge.

The Three Rivers League continues to look extremely well balanced and should remain highly competitive.

“I think any team can beat anyone else on any given day. We've all played pretty tough preseason schedules and I think we'll probably beat up on each other all year,” McCormack said.

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