Tigard, after falling big to Forest Grove, blasts Century 15-1

TIGARD — Coming off an 18-2 loss at Forest Grove, the Tigard High School softball team needed something to boost its spirits.

Well, the Tigers found just what they needed.

Tigard, just two days following the lopsided loss at Forest Grove, bounced back big to blast Century 15-1 in a five-inning Pacific Conference game played Friday at Tigard High School.

“That felt great,” Tigard junior pitcher Liz Vanderburg said with a smile following Friday’s win. “We were a bit down on ourselves after the Forest Grove game, but we came out, practiced hard and we were really ready for this game.”by: DAN BROOD - HAPPY TIGERS --Tigard High School freshman Kalyna Korok (left) taps teammate Emilee Heyden on the helmet after she scored a third-inning run in the Tigers' 15-1 victory over Century.

“That felt really good, coming after the Forest Grove game,” Tigard freshman catcher Ramsey Hare said. “We were just ready to get back to where we should have been.”

Century fell to 0-3 in Pacific Conference play and to 4-9 on the season at that point with the loss. Tigard improved to 2-1 in league games and to 4-9 on the season with the victory.

“It’s getting better,” Tigard coach Gary Edwards said. “We hit the ball pretty good today, but we’re just so young.”

The young Tigers got off to a fast start in Friday’s game. Sophomore Kayla Saldana, reached base on a fielder’s choice grounder and she scored on Hare’s two-out double to the fence in center field to give Tigard a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.

The Tigers kept rolling in the second inning.

Sophomore Lyssa Rabideau, leading off the frame, was hit by a pitch. Rabideau moved to second base on a wild pitch and then she scored on sophomore Emilee Heyden’s one-out single to right-center field.

Freshman Hannah Spadafora followed with a single to right. Another freshman, Dena Emmons, then belted a line-drive single to center on a 3-2 pitch, driving in Heyden to up the Tigard lead to 3-0.

Spadafora would come around to score on a groundout by sophomore Katie Chabreck. Emmons, who earlier stole a base, would then score on a wild pitch to cap off the big inning and give the Tigers a 5-0 advantage.

Century, getting an RBI single by junior Allie Kenfield, trimmed the lead to 5-1 in the top of the third inning. But Tigard wouldn’t let the Jaguars get any closer, as the Tigers scored three more runs in the bottom of the frame.

Hare walked to lead off the inning and freshman Kalyna Korok followed with a bunt single. Following a sacrifice bunt by Rabideau, Hare would score on a fielder’s choice grounder by Vanderburg to make the score 6-1. Korok scored later in the inning on the front end of a double steal and freshman Abi Olson, pinch running for Vanderburg, scored on a wild pitch to up the lead to 8-1 at the end of the inning.

Tigard really got its bats going in the bottom of the fourth.

The Tigers pounded out five hits in the frame, including two-run doubles by both Vanderburg and Heyden, a two-run single by Korok and an RBI grounder by Spadafora.

Emmons, who hit a leadoff double, Saldana, Hare, Korok, Rabideau, Olson and Heyden all scored in the inning to push the Tigard lead to 15-1.

Vanderburg and the Tigers then put Century down in order in the top of the fifth inning to wrap up the victory.

“I think this win can get us going,” said Vanderburg, who missed her sophomore season after having back surgery.

Vanderburg pitched all five innings for Tigard in the win. She gave up one unearned run on two hits while striking out four and walking none.

“Liz is doing well,” Edwards said. “She just has to stay with it.”

“It felt good to throw a good game and help my team,” Vanderburg said.

Vanderburg also helped in other ways. She had a double and three RBIs at the plate and, on defense, she started a 1-6-3 double play in the fourth inning.

Tigard, as a team, belted out 10 hits, including four doubles, in four offensive innings.

“Once we get our bats rolling, we’re hard to stop,” said Hare, who went 2 for 2 at the plate with a double, two runs scored and an RBI.

Heyden went 2 for 3 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Emmons went 2 for 3 with a double, a stolen base, two runs scored and an RBI. Korok went 2 for 2 with two runs scored and two RBIs.

Tigard followed up Friday’s win by getting a 5-4, eight-inning victory over Hillsboro in a league game played Monday at Hillsboro High School. With that victory, the Tigers improved to 3-1 in Pacific Conference play and to 5-9 on the season.

The Tigers were slated to play at rival Tualatin on Wednesday. Results of that game weren’t available when The Times went to press. Tigard will be back in action Friday when it hosts Newberg in a league game starting at 5 p.m. On Monday, the Tigers will host Glencoe at 5 p.m.

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