Lake Oswego Majors softball all-stars start 1-1 at District 4 tournament
To be honest, the Lake Oswego Little League Majors softball all-stars didn't enjoy their District 4 tournament opener that much.
So how did LO's best respond? Lake Oswego came back strong in its second pool play game on Tuesday, July 16, racing past Forest Grove 18-8 at Alpenrose Dairy to even its tournament record at 1-1.
"I think we were a little more focused and … we were ready for today," said Lake Oswego's Kate Stingle, who went 2 for 2 at the plate, reached base four times, drove in one run and scored three times. "We were more prepared, and yesterday, I can say that during warm-ups, we just weren't as focused."
"I think we had more communication, and like (Stingle) said, we were more focused and ready to play," said LO's Emily Kitchin, who went 3 for 4 at the plate with one RBI and one run scored.
Lake Oswego also benefitted greatly from the strong starting pitching performance of Braelynn Jenkins. She threw the game's first three innings and kept Forest Grove scoreless, facing just nine batters and allowing no runs on no hits and no walks while striking out four.
Jenkins left the game after three innings, but when Forest Grove broke through for six runs in the bottom of the fourth, Jenkins re-entered for the final two frames, allowing just two runs on two hits and two walks to give her team time to pull away.
"I did really well. It was probably one of my best times pitching," she said. "I was pretty proud of myself. I worked pretty hard for it."
After a scoreless first inning, Lake Oswego broke through for three runs in the top of the second. Quinn Carr-Thompson reached base on an error to get things started and scored on a wild pitch with Rowan Jurney at the plate.
Jurney reached base with a two-out walk, Lizzy Sietman got aboard on a Forest Grove error, Marin LaFrance loaded the bases with a walk of her own and two runs came home on another error for a 3-0 Lake Oswego lead.
LO made it 5-0 in the top of the third when Stingle was hit by a pitch, Millie McKenzie walked, and later, both came home on wild pitches.
Then, after Jenkins struck out the side in the bottom of the third, Lake Oswego tacked on five more runs in the top of the fourth to extend its lead to 10-0. Highlights from that at-bat included LaFrance's RBI double to right field, back-to-back hits from Jenkins and Clementine Rust, and a run-scoring single by Kitchin.
But Forest Grove still had some life left in it. With LaFrance on to pitch in relief, Forest Grove took advantage of one hit batter, four walks, three wild pitches and two errors to score six times and cut Lake Oswego's lead to 10-6. Forest Grove highlights in the frame included run-scoring groundouts by both Rory Fix and Brylee Davis.
After each team scored twice in the fifth (with Rust getting an RBI single for LO and Sirrea Smith driving in a run for Forest Grove), Lake Oswego poured across six runs in the top of the sixth to leave Forest Grove behind.
Facing Forest Grove reliever Malia Shurts, Lake Oswego took advantage of two hits (by Kitchin and Stingle), five walks, two errors, a stolen base and a passed ball to forge its 18-8 victory.
"I was definitely really nervous (when I went back in to pitch)," Jenkins said. "I knew I had to do well. I can't let my team down because it lets myself down, so again, I just went back to my fundamentals, told myself 'I got this' and believed in myself."
Now, Lake Oswego is hoping to take the momentum from Tuesday's win and use it to build more success moving forward.
"As soon as everybody just starts knowing 'Yeah, we got this. We can win.' Then we'll have more energy for the next games and that will just help us get up to a higher level," Stingle said.
South Beaverton 12, Lake Oswego 4
In Lake Oswego's tournament opener on Monday, July 15, South Beaverton broke the game open with a four-run third inning and outscored Lake Oswego 10-3 over the contest's final four innings to win 12-4 at Alpenrose.
Lake Oswego trailed just 2-1 after the first inning, but saw South Beaverton take control with a four-run third, another four in the fifth and two in the sixth to pull away.
Lake Oswego's Courtney Oldenstadt and McKenzie had two hits each to lead their team, with Oldenstadt adding a walk, an RBI and one run, while LaFrance scored twice in the loss.
Abby Dimeo led South Beaverton after going 3 for 4 with two triples, four RBIs and two runs scored. Ellie Bennett, Gianna DeFrank and Ainsley Arbow added two hits each, while DeFrank picked up the win, allowing four runs on five hits and two walks while striking out 11.
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