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West Linn softball team uses hot start to beat Lakeridge 13-8 on Friday

West Linn's Kaitlin Lampson goes 3 for 4 and drives in five runs

PMG PHOTO: MILES VANCE - West Linn senior catcher Devinne Amesquita went 2 for 4 and knocked in two runs in her team's 13-8 win at Lakeridge on Friday.The West Linn softball team could not have been any hotter at the start of Friday's game at Lakeridge.

The Lions poured across eight runs in the top of the first inning and looked for all the world like they'd leave the Pacers choking on their fumes.

But Lakeridge spent the ensuing 6 1/2 innings trying to pour water on that hot start. The Pacers steadied themselves and outscored the Lions 8-5 the rest of the way before finally falling short by 13-8.

"We definitely started out strong, (but) they're a good hitting team so it was a good win for us," said West Linn senior catcher Devinne Amesquita, who went 2 for 4 at the plate and drove in two runs.

"We came out with a lot of energy and just got a lot of key hits," added junior shortstop Kaitlin Lampson, who went 3 for 4 batting, knocked in five runs and scored twice. "But we always have close games with Lakeridge, especially the second time we play them."

With the win — West Linn's third straight — the Lions improved to 8-3 in Three Rivers League play (good for third place) and 8-14 overall. Lakeridge, meanwhile, lost for a fourth straight time and fell to 2-9 in league and 4-18 overall.

Despite that, the Pacers were proud of their comeback and resilience.

"I think, especially in innings when we were stringing hits together and getting some runs, the team pulled together really well," said Lakeridge sophomore Kathryn Beeman, who went 2 for 3 at the plate and drove in four runs. "It was fun to be a part of it."

"We started off a little slow, but I think we did well battling back," added senior center fielder Gracie Neville, who went 3 for 5 batting and also scored twice. "If we didn't have that first inning, I think we really would have had a closer game."

That said, the Lions were absolutely devastating in the first inning, sending 14 batters to the plate, banging out five hits (three for extra bases) and taking advantage of six walks (five from Lakeridge starter Kayla Krueger) to push across eight runs.

Key hits in that opening frame were Amesquita's two-run double down the left field line, Lexi Grein's RBI single, Lampson's two-RBI double to right-center field and another two-run double — this one to center field by Megan Talbert — to forge that 8-0 lead.

"We were just stringing hits together," Lampson said. "Everybody was really excited."

"It was just a good start for us," Amesquita added.

The Pacers, however, rallied back with four runs in the bottom of the first off West Linn pitcher JQ Remington, sending nine batters to the plate, collecting four hits and getting back-to-back two-run doubles from Chloe Mike and Beeman to cut their team's deficit to 8-4.

One "of the things that happens with this team is that we work well under pressure a lot of times," Beeman said. "After having a tough top of the first, coming back and being able to get runs in the bottom of the first was great for morale."

"We definitely always battle back," Neville said. "We always come back."

The Lions seemed unfazed, however, tacking on three more runs in the top of the second inning and another score in the top of the third to boost their lead to 12-4. In the second, the Lions loaded the bases with a Grein double, an Avery Esau single and an Elena Perrine walk, then saw all three come home when Lampson doubled to center field. And in the third, Amesquita singled, pinch runner Shay Hicks took second on a Lisa Reavely hit and later scored on a Lakeridge error.

After three scoreless Lakeridge at-bats, the Pacers scored once in the fifth and three times in the sixth to edge back into contention. In the fifth, Brooke Clinton walked and scored when Beeman doubled to center. And in the sixth, Neville and Claire Johnston walked, Sara Nyland and Kelley Ericson drove in runs with singles, and Beeman walked to force home another and bring her team within 13-8.

But West Linn brought on Alexis Finke to pitch the bottom of the seventh and she shut the door on the Pacers' final comeback hopes.

For the game, Grein went 2 for 3, knocked in one and scored one, and both Esau and Lauren Amesquita went 2 for 2 in the win. For Lakeridge, Taylor Reid added a 2 for 4 day at the plate.

Contact Sports Editor Miles Vance at 503-330-0127 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..