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The team stayed positive through the rough patches, stayed strong in league play

PMG FILE PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Senior Parker Allhands kept the team headed in the right direction towards seasons end. Canby's softball season came to an end in the first round against the Jesuit Crusaders. On paper Jesuit should have walked over the Cougars, who came into the contest with a 7-18 record. Canby put up a fight though, tying things up 5-5 to force an extra inning. Unfortunately, Jesuit crushed the first pitch over the wall to win on a walk off home run.

According to Canby head coach Jen Peterson, the team was able to battle with the No. 5 ranked softball team due to its mental fortitude and ability to capitalize.

"They did a great job of staying calm and keeping a positive attitude and they all knew they were capable of scoring runs," Peterson said. "That was one of the only games all season that we had 0 errors in the field and everyone got on base. We worked all season towards getting better and peaking at playoffs and we almost pulled off the upset."

Despite the team's obvious disappointment and sadness at the result, there was contentment in the way the team played. Senior leaders Kamryn Mobley and Parker Allhands kept the team calm and focused over the course of the season, including telling jokes to keep spirits high and getting big hits when games were on the line.

And despite the trials the team faced early in the season, there was still something that they wanted to accomplish, and did.

"We had a team meeting before league started and talked about how we played a tough preseason schedule to challenge the girls and now league is starting and it's kind of the second season," Peterson said. "We talked about how placing top 3 in league was still a team goal and we still had a chance to do that…Then we shocked everyone and beat Tigard on their home field in a 7th inning comeback. That was the beginning of our team attitude of the game isn't over until the last out. The second half of league play Nicole, Parker and Ashley's bats all came alive and they were getting on base and helping the team out at the plate."

Several players stepped up to the challenge over the course of the season. Mobley had a batting average above .500, and freshman Kalea Jensen became a big hitter in her own right. In the field, junior Nicole Michelson became a communicative leader in the infield.

"Our defense improved as the season went on," Peterson said. "The girls started communicating more with each other, they were picking each other up if someone had an error or didn't get a good hit. They gained that never give up attitude. We were behind going into the seventh inning twice against Tigard & Oregon City and pulled off wins, we beat Tualatin in eight innings."

While the team loses first team all-league catcher Mobley and honorable mention pitcher Allhands, the team returns a plethora of young players who gained valuable experience against the best teams in the state. The returners include first team infielder Jensen, and honorable mention outfielders Kelly Peters and Ashley Petterson.

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