Softball: Clackamas rolls past Roosevelt 10-0 in 6A playoff opener
Clackamas pitcher Shay Monise did her share of heavy lifting to kick off the OSAA Class 6A softball playoffs.
Monise not only fired a one-hitter with nine strikeouts, but she also smacked a two-run homer to help ignite the Clackamas offense, leading the Cavaliers to a 10-0 home win in Monday's playoff opener against the Roosevelt Roughriders.
Maddy Stateler added a solo homer leading off a five-run sixth inning to help send the Cavaliers (18-9) into Wednesday's second round to face the Jesuit Crusaders (22-6) at Jesuit.
Everyone knew going into Monday's playoff opener that it's a new a season — win or go home — but does the game change significantly this time of year?
"It does," said Monise, the senior who helped pitch the Cavaliers to last year's state championship final. "I feel like there's more pressure on everyone, I think on both teams. It's definitely more fun to play in these games because you really have something to play for.
"In league, you want to finish in first place and all that. But in the playoffs, this is for the state championship, so that's a big deal."
Monise was near the top of her game on the mound against the Roughriders, limited the Portland Interscholastic League championship to one hit — a one-out, infield single by No. 9 hitter Danielle Arnold in the fifth inning.
Aside from that, Roosevelt hit only one ball out of the infield when clean-up hitter Emily Imes hit a fly out to center leading off the second. Everything else was either a groundout (4), an infield pop out (3), an infield line out (1), or a strikeout (9) in a game that was abbreviated to six innings because of the 10-run rule.
The Roughriders (17-10) threatened to score a couple of times, starting in the third inning when Emily Drexler reached on an error to lead off the inning. Drexler then went to second on a passed ball and advanced to third on Irie Wright's groundout, but was left stranded in scoring position.
In the fourth, Breeah Houston reached on an error and Faith Collar drew a walk to put runners at first and second with one out, but Monise escaped that inning when she struck out Kami Isom and retired Drexler on a bouncer back to the mound.
"It was one just of those funny games where we couldn't string some hits together," Roughriders coach Kelsey Porter said. "It kind of goes that way sometimes.
"I think some of it was the girls not being aggressive enough at the plate and also just thinking too much. Clackamas is a big, strong 6A school, and in our league, it can sometimes be tough to prepare for teams like this. But I know we can hit better than we did today."
Collar, Roosevelt's sophomore pitcher, struck out four of the first nine batters she faced, but then struggled to find the strike zone in the third inning when she walked Alyssa Daniell and Kylie Hegar with two outs.
With Monise at the plate, Daniell advanced to third on a delayed steal, and scored the game's first run on the same play when an errant throw got past the Roosevelt third baseman.
Monise then worked the count to 3-1 before driving the next pitch over the fence in straightaway center field for a home run that gave the Cavaliers a 3-0 lead.
"I was thinking if the pitch was anywhere on the plate, I was going to swing," Monise said. "But if it was anything off or too low or too high, I wouldn't swing and I'd take the walk. I got a good pitch to swing at.
"Right when I saw the pitch, I was like, 'OK, perfect timing … just hit it.' I didn't think it was going to go over the fence. I thought it was going to hit the fence and then it just kind of leaped over."
In the fifth, Clackamas loaded the bases on three consecutive walks to lead off the inning. Ellie Martin then got hit by a pitch to push home a run and Alexis Miles followed with a sacrifice fly that scored Hegar to make it 5-0.
The Cavaliers then put the game away in the sixth when they sent nine batters to the plate and scored five runs on four hits and three walks. Stateler touched off the rally with a solo homer leading off the inning and Leah Musso ended it with a pinch-hit, two-run single.
Collar went the distance on the mound for Roosevelt, allowing 10 runs on six hits with 10 strikeouts and 10 walks in 5 2/3 innings.
"Roosevelt won a lot of games this year, so I'm relieved we're moving on and I look forward to playing Jesuit," Cavaliers coach Ken Gemma said. "I would rather had the home game against Canby, but, hey, I'll take it, whichever way it comes. You're going to have to play on the road sometime."
Six different players had one hit each for Clackamas, which Daniell and Hegar, the Nos. 3 and 4 hitters, going a combined 2 for 2 with six walks and six runs scored. The Cavaliers also left nine runners on base in the game, including seven in scoring position.
"We started out really slow," Gemma said. "I wasn't happy with the start. That's a pitcher that we should have jumped all over. But we finished in the late innings and started hitting the ball, so I'm happy with that.
"We're not making the little mistakes that we were making a month ago, so I'd say we're playing better, but we've got to be more aggressive at the plate."