Newbergs 3-1 loss to Liberty Monday takes a bit of the luster off of wins against David Douglas and Beaverton last week

Newberg looked sharp coming out of spring break last week, beating up David Douglas and Beaverton, but still had a shaky inning defensively in each game.

The Tigers will need to shore things up on that front if they hope to compete with the best teams in the Pacific Conference this spring.

Steve Richards’ squad didn’t suffer any let-down innings in a stiff non-conference test Monday at Liberty, but the Falcons still managed to come out on top 3-1 by rallying for a pair of runs in the sixth SETH GORDON - Nearly there -- Courtney Croft dives to catch a fly ball in short left field Friday during Newberg's 6-2 win over Beaverton.

The No. 3-ranked team in 5A, Liberty (10-1) jumped out to a 1-0 lead after one inning, but Emily Bromagem’s sacrifice fly in the top of the fifth scored Ashton Porter to knot the game 1-1.

Against the Scots April 2, Newberg led 12-1 heading into the bottom of the fifth, but surrendered a pair of runs to nullify the mercy rule and extend the game by an inning.

The Tigers also led 6-0 heading into the top of the seventh at home versus Beaverton Friday, but an error helped load the bases and the visitors were able to drive in two runs before bowing out.

“It seems like we end up having one of those innings every game, where we give up a walk, we have an error and then all of a sudden we’ve got two or three kids on base,” Richards said.“That’s kind of been our nemesis this season.”

On Monday, the Falcons strung together three singles to start the innings and eventually managed a sacrifice fly and a single to go up 3-1.

Bromagem, who started the game in the circle but was relieved by Madison Plummer in the fifth, laced a one-out single — just Newberg’s third hit of the day — in the top of the seventh to give the visitors a glimmer of hope.

Plummer then reached on an error to bring the potential go-ahead run to the plate, but the Falcons induced a pair of fly balls to end the threat and the game.

The Tigers jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the top of the first inning at David Douglas, then added single runs in each of the next three innings and closed the game with three in the top of the sixth.

Paityn Willoughby powered the offense, going 3-for-5 with four RBI and two runs scored, as Newberg pounded out 13 hits, which was more than enough to give Bromagem the win.

The Tigers managed just one run through four innings against the Beavers, but finally broke out with three in the fifth, all with two outs, to take command of the contest.

Capitalizing on a leadoff double by Sam Rinkes, Newberg executed a double steal to double the lead, then doubled it again on Porter’s two-run double one batter later.

“We got hits when we needed to. I told the girls it was one of those total team efforts,” Richards said. “Everybody participated in that victory offensively or defensively. That’s really nice when we get everybody to do that.”

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