Tigard gets back on track with victory over Century

by: DAN BROOD - FUN FINISH -- Tigard sophomore third baseman Hannah Spadafora (left), with freshman pitcher Kaitlyn Nunn pointing at her, seems overjoyed after catching a line drive for the final out of Monday's game. Spadafora just returned to action after suffering a major injury in the fall. TIGARD — It’s a simple equation.

When the Tigers have fun, they play well.

And, on Monday, the Tigard High School softball team seemed to have a lot of fun.

The Tigers, excelling on offense, defense and pitching, ended a skid that saw them lose four of five games by scoring a 7-0 win over Century in a Pacific Conference game played at Tigard High School.

“It was a lot of fun today,” Tigard sophomore shortstop Dena Emmons said after the win. “We needed this.”

“We needed it badly,” Tigard coach Connie Jolley said. “With this group, the more they enjoy themselves out there, the better they play.”

“We love to laugh,” said Tigard freshman pitcher Kaitlyn Nunn, who threw a complete-game shutout. “And we were happy today.”

With the win, Tigard improved to 4-5 in Pacific Conference play (12-8 overall), putting the Tigers a half game behind fourth-place Forest Grove in the standings. The top four teams in the league at the end of the regular season gain automatic berths to the Class 6A state playoffs.

“I think we’ll build off this win and keep going forward,” Emmons said.

The Tigers certainly seem to have plenty from Monday’s game to build from.

Tigard got off to a fast start to the contest, getting a run in the bottom of the first inning. Sophomore Kalyna Korok got things going with a one-out double to the fence in left field. She scored on Emmons’ two-out single to center field, giving the Tigers their early lead.

They built onto that lead with three more runs — all coming with two outs — in the bottom of the second inning. Junior Camille Riggs ignited things with a two-out single to center field. Junior Kayla Saldana followed with a single to center field and Korok drew a walk to load the bases. Junior Lexi Kelly then promptly emptied the bases with a three-run double to right field, upping the Tigard lead to 4-0.

by: DAN BROOD - UNDER THE RAINBOW -- With a rainbow overhead, Tigard junior Kayla Saldana (right) puts the ball in play during the Tigers' win over Century.The Tigers struck for three more runs in the fourth inning. This time, however, they didn’t wait until there were two outs in the inning to get started, as junior Emilee Heyden led off the frame with a single to left field. Heyden moved to second base on a wild pitch and advanced to third on a single by Riggs. Heyden then scored on a groundout by Saldana to make the score 5-0.

Korok and junior Alexa Hansen added RBI singles later in the frame to push the margin to 7-0.

That was way more than enough run support for Nunn.

In seven innings of work, the freshman allowed no runs on six hits while striking out five and walking none.

“It was good,” Nunn said. “I felt good with our defense. I trust them.”

The Tigers committed just one error in the contest, and more than made up for that with nine base hits.

Korok went 2 for 2 at the plate with a double, three runs scored and an RBI. Riggs went 2 for 2 with two runs scored.

Emmons, Saldana, Kelly, Heyden and Hansen added one hit apiece.

Prior to the win over Century, Tigard was edged 6-5 by Forest Grove in a conference game played Friday at Forest Grove High School.

The Tigers were scheduled to play a doubleheader of sorts Wednesday at Hillsboro.

by: DAN BROOD - NICE PLAY -- Tigard sophomore third baseman Kalyna Korok (right) is congratulated by sophomore shortstop Dena Emmons after she threw out a Century runner at second base in Monday's game.The teams were first going to finish a suspended game from April 21, with Tigard holding a 9-0 lead, and then play their regularly-scheduled contest. Results of those games weren’t available when The Times went to press.

The Tigers will be back in action Friday when they play rival Tualatin in a conference game starting at 5 p.m. at Tualatin High School.

On Tuesday, Tigard will be home to play Newberg at 5 p.m.

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