Corbett's Lindsay Miller retired the first 11 Colton batters in order with seven strikeouts and the Cardinals opened an early 4-0 before pulling away to roll into Friday's Class 3A quarterfinals against Rainier

by: JIM BESEDA/MOLALLA PIONEER - Colton's Becky Patterson delivered an RBI-triple in a two-run sixth inning that pulled the Vikings within 6-3 of Corbett in Thursday's OSAA Class 3A softball playoff game. Corbett won 13-3.By the time the Colton Vikings started making consistent contact against Corbett left-hander Lindsay Miller, it was too late.

Miller tossed a three-hitter with nine strikeouts Thursdays to help carry the Cardinals to a 13-3 victory over the Vikings in the opening round of the OSAA Class 3A softball playoffs at Corbett High School.

Bethany Woodard with 4 for 5 and scored three time to led Corbett’s nine-hit attack as the Cardinals (19-5) advanced to Friday’s quarterfinal to face No. 3-ranked Rainier at Rainier.

The Vikings (13-11) got bounced from the playoffs in the first round for the third consecutive season, falling short in their bid to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 2001.

“We’ve had a good year, really, for where we started,” Colton coach Jim Brochis said. “We had a nice run and I’m really proud of these players. They did an excellent job.”

Corbett scored two run in the first inning, one in the second, and another in the third to open a 4-0 lead, while Miller was busy retiring the first 11 Colton batters she faced in order with seven strikeouts.

Becky Patterson got the Vikings’ first hit with a two-out single on an infield grounder deep to shortstop, but she ended up stranded at first base.

At that point, Colton was in a hole that appeared too deep to climb out of, especially considering the way Miller was throwing.

"It becomes difficult, because then you can't play the bunt game effectively," Brochis said. "If we could have kept even with them, then we would have had a much better chance, but Miller pitched a beautiful game."

In the fourth, the Vikings broke through for a run when Cassondra Neff hit a pop up to shallow right field that the Corbett second baseman misplayed, deflecting the ball into foul territory, allowing Neff to advance to second.

The Cardinals then compounded the miscue with a wild throw to second base that ended up scooting past the left fielder, giving Neff the opportunity to score and cut the deficit to 4-1.

After Corbett added two runs to make it 6-1, the Vikings scored two in the sixth when Caitlyn Weinberger drew a two-out walk, Patterson ripped an RBI-triple to the gap in right-center, and Joslyn Stansfield added an RBI-single, beating out a grounder to shortstop.

The Cardinals then put the game away in the home half of the sixth when they sent 12 batters to the plate and scored seven runs on three hits, two walks, two hit batters, a sacrifice fly, and three Vikings’ errors.

The game ended when Miller got hit by a pitch with two outs and the bases loaded, forcing home the run that invoked the 10-run rule.

“I thought we went in with a good attitude,” said Patterson, the junior pitcher who surrendered nine hits with six walks and five strikeouts. “It was a tough loss, but it was a great season, so I have nothing bad to say about it at all.”

— Jim Beseda / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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