Lake Oswego rallies past Lakeridge 7-4 in the seventh
This is what rivalry looks like.
The Lake Oswego softball team took charge early in its Monday game at Lakeridge, saw the Pacers respond, then finally pulled away to win 7-3 in a wild seventh inning at Lakeridge High School.
"Good things happen when we hit the ball so I think that's really what it was," said Lake Oswego junior center fielder Layney Lombardo, who knocked in one run with a sacrifice and brought home two more on an error in the seventh. "It was just getting to the ball, working together and stringing the hits together."
"It was really just everyone staying positive," said LO senior first baseman Anna Tomita, who went 2 for 5 at the plate with two RBIs. "I think that energy helped a lot. Once we got one, two hits, it kept going from there."
With the win, the Lakers' second straight, Lake Oswego improved to 6-6 and a fourth-place tie with Canby in the Three Rivers League, and 10-10 overall. Lakeridge, meanwhile, dropped its fourth straight game and fell to 3-9 and seventh in league, and 7-16 overall.
"The first couple innings kind of got away from us, but we came back and we fought really hard. I'm really proud of that," said Lakeridge senior second baseman Sara Nyland, who went 1 for 4 at the plate and brought home two runs in the second inning. "We just need to get rid of some errors that happened."
"We just needed to finish that out in the seventh inning," added Pacer senior third baseman Emily Paulson. "That's our weakest point.
Lake Oswego struck first on Monday, getting Marin Penney aboard on an error, then bringing her home for a 1-0 lead on Vivian Rittenour's two-out single.
The Lakers tacked on two more runs in the top of the second, getting back-to-back singles from Kaitlyn Schreiter and Allison Sweeney, then loading the bases when Alexandra Stearns reached on an error. Tomita followed with a two-run single to center field that boosted the Laker lead to 3-0.
But Lakeridge responded in the bottom of the frame to tie the game, starting with a Summer Mickey walk and a bloop single by Kathryn Beeman, then loading the bases when Mackenzie Nelson reached on a bunt. Nyland then grounded to second base, and when Lake Oswego's throw home went astray, both Mickey and Beeman scored. Sailor Mickey followed with a sacrifice bunt that plated Nelson to make it 3-3.
Both pitchers — Summer Mickey for Lakeridge and Penney for Lake Oswego — settled in after that, trading zeroes for the next four innings, though not without some excitement along the way. The Lakers wasted leadoff singles in both the third and the fourth, and came up empty again after one-out doubles by Rittenour in the fifth and Stearns in the sixth.
Lakeridge made some noise in that span, too, with singles by Beeman and Nyland in the fourth, a Mackenzie double in the fifth, and a Beeman drive in the fifth that looked like it might leave the park before Schreiter hauled it in at the left field fence.
But then, in the top of the seventh, everything broke Lake Oswego's way. Penney and Morgan Jones led off with consecutive singles, and Rittenour then hit a grounder between shortstop and third. Paulson fielded the ball cleanly, missed an attempted tag of Penney, then threw wildly past first for one run.
Lombardo came up next and sent a short bloop toward second base; when Nyland's throw and Lombardo met at first base, the ball bounced away, and along with another throwing error on the play, two more runs came home. Finally, with two outs, Stearns rolled a single to left for another run and a 7-3 lead.
While the Pacers didn't score again, they sure made a run at it. In the bottom of the seventh, Sailor Mickey reached base on an error, Claire Johnston singled off Jones' glove at shortstop and Summer Mickey drew a two-out walk to fill the bases. But with the tying run at the plate, Penney got Rachel Opferman to ground to Rittenour at third for the final out.
"There was a little bit of pressure because they got runners on so it was kind of nerve-wracking, but we pulled through," Lombardo said.
"We had a few errors in those first few innings, but we didn't let those get to us … so no, I didn't have any doubts," Tomita added.
While disappointed with the loss, Nyland expressed pride in her team's togetherness and growth.
"I think this team has grown so much," she said. "It's awesome to be part of a team where everyone is so close. I've never been on a club team before or high school where it felt like a family."
For the game, Penney went 2 for 4 and scored twice, Rittenour was 3 for 3 with one run, and Stearns went 3 for 4 with one RBI.
For Lakeridge, Johnston went 2 for 4 at the plate, and Beeman was 2 for 3 with one run.