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Tualatin softball team keeps swinging in the rain

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The Wolves top rival Tigard 4-0 to move a step closer to the Three Rivers League title

DAN BROOD - Tualatin High School senior Amanda Reser (right), in front of Tigard freshman catcher Emily Paulson, puts the ball in play during the Timberwolves' 4-0 victory.TUALATIN — There's usually excitement in the air when the rival Tigard and Tualatin high school softball teams meet up in their usual showdown.

But, this year, all that excitement has been doused by rain — over and over again.

However, not even a downpour could damped the Timberwolves' spirits when they're taking on the rival Tigers — especially with a league championship in sight.

With that in mind, Tualatin went out and ran to a 4-0 win over Tigard in a rain-soaked Three Rivers League showdown played Friday at Tualatin High School.

DAN BROOD - Tualatin High School sophomore Megan Woodward fires in a pitch during the Timberwolves' 4-0 win over Tigard. "Every time we play Tigard, something like this happens," said Tualatin junior pitcher Megan Woodward, talking about the team's first meeting this season, which was postponed twice due to rain, and last year, when the teams had a lightning-delayed contest. "But this was huge for us."

"They're one of the toughest teams," said Tualatin senior second baseman Amanda Reser, who had two hits, and drove in two runs in the victory. "So it was nice to win this."

With the victory, the Timberwolves improved to 11-0 in TRL play (17-3 overall) at that point, keeping them alone in first place in the league standings.

DAN BROOD - Tigard freshman catcher Emily Paulson makes a throw to first during the Tigers' game at Tualatin."We've won it the last three years, every year since I've been here," Reser said of a league championship. "It would be good to get it for four years."

"I think we're peaking at the right time," Woodward said.

With the setback, the Tigers moved to 9-2 in TRL games (16-5 overall) at that point, keeping them in second place in the league standings.

"This was a lot better than the last time we played them (a 13-5 loss to the Wolves on May 2 in a game played at Tigard)," Tiger junior pitcher Ashley Davis said. "That's a good sign. Absolutely, it was a goal to play better."

DAN BROOD - Tualatin junior Ella Hillier looks to put down a bunt during the Wolves' game with Tigard.The Wolves, in Friday's game, grabbled a 1-0 lead with a run in the bottom of the second inning. Tualatin sophomore Andrea Gomez got things started with a leadoff walk. One out later, Gomez moved all the way to third base on a sacrifice bunt by Woodward. Reser followed that with an infield single, with Gomez scoring on the hit to give the Wolves their early advantage.

Tualatin added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Junior Zoe Olivera started the frame with a leadoff bloop double to left field. One out later, Olivera moved to third base on a groundout by junior Ella Hiller.

Woodward then doubled to center field, driving in Olivera to make the score 2-0.

DAN BROOD - Tigard junior second baseman Caroline Riggs (right) runs in on the ball during the Tigers' game at Tualatin."I like hitting," Woodward said with a smile.

Reser then singled to center field, plating junior courtesy runner Kayla Laird, upping the Timberwolf lead to 3-0.

Tigard tried to battle back in the top of the fifth inning, getting a leadoff single by freshman Elli Dardis. But the Wolves ended that threat in a hurry, turning a 5-3-6 double play, started by junior third baseman Taylor Alton, on a Tigard bunt.

Tualatin then tacked on another run in the bottom of the fifth. Senior Sammi Caron, leading off the inning, reached second base on a Tigard fielding error. Caron then moved to third base on a wild pitch, and then she scored on a sacrifice fly by sophomore Emily Johansen, pushing the margin to 4-0.

DAN BROOD - Tualatin junior third baseman Taylor Alton makes a throw to first.Woodward then put the Tigers down in order in both the sixth and seventh innings — striking out the final five batters she faced — to wrap up the 4-0 victory.

"We're used to scoring more," Reser said. "Our hitting wasn't our best, but we got the bats on the ball."

And, with Woodward's pitching, the Wolves didn't need much offense.

In the complete-game victory, Woodward gave up just one hit, while striking out 13 and walking one.

"She rocked it," Reser said with a smile.

"I felt good," Woodward said. "I hit my spots, and our defense played great."

Tualatin, as a team, had seven hits in the win. Reser went 2 for 4 at the plate with a double and two RBIs. Olivera went 2 for 3 with a run scored. Woodward, freshman Bella Valdes and Alton had one hit apiece.

DAN BROOD - Tualatin players (from left) Megan Woodward, Emily Johansen, Amanda Reser and Bella Valdes head back to their positions after meeting in the pitcher's circle.For Tigard, Dardis had the only hit in the contest. Davis did pitch well in defeat, giving up four runs (one earned) on seven hits, while striking out four and walking three.

"I felt a lot better than the last time we played them," Davis said. "I was able to hit my spots."

Tigard bounced back from the loss to post a 4-3 win over Canby, in eight innings, in a league game played Monday at Tigard High School. Tiger sophomore Maddie Hoover drove in freshman Grace Nelson with the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning.

DAN BROOD - Tigard sophomore shortstop Maddie Hoover (6) is congratulated by her teammates after making a defensive play during the Tigers' game at Tualatin.Freshman Emily Paulson went 3 for 4 at the plate for the Tigers in the win, with a double and a run scored. Freshman Abby Soderquist went 2 for 4 with a pair of RBIs. Nelson went 2 for 3 with a stolen base and a run scored, and Dardis went 2 for 4.

Davis picked up the pitching win, giving up three runs (one earned) on seven hits, while striking out nine and walking none.

Tualatin, on Monday, sprinted to a 14-1 win over Newberg in five innings in a league game played at Newberg High School.

DAN BROOD - Tualatin senior second baseman Amanda Reser (left) and junior pitcher Megan Woodward call for a time out during the Wolves' game with Tigard.Caron had a monster day at the plate for the Wolves in the victory, going 4 for 4 with a grand slam home run, a double, two runs scored and six RBIs.

Hillier went 2 for 2 with a pair of runs scored. Olivera and Reser each doubled and drove in a pair of runs. Gomez doubled and scored twice.

Woodward and freshman Tia Ridings pitched Tualatin to the win, combining to strike out five and walk none.

DAN BROOD - Tualatin head coach Jenna Wilson congratulates her team following the victory over Tigard.On Wednesday, Tigard was scheduled to host Lake Oswego, and Tualatin was slated to play at Sherwood. Results of those games weren't available when the Times went to press.

On Friday, in Three Rivers League finales, Tigard will be home to face Sherwood and Tualatin will host West Linn in 5 p.m. games.

On Wednesday, Tualatin will be home to face Dallas in a non-league game starting at 5 p.m.