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The Lakers tie the game in the seventh, then pour across five runs in the eighth

PMG PHOTO: JIM BESEDA - Lake Oswego's Vivian Rittenour came through with the game-tying hit in the bottom of the seventh inning and the Lakers pulled away to beat Oregon City 11-6 in the eighth on Wednesday, April 24, at Oregon City High School.Oregon City had the Lake Oswego softball team right where they wanted them in the seventh inning — down a run and one strike away from closing out their Wednesday, April 24 game at Oregon City High School.

But Lake Oswego's Vivian Rittenour changed all that.

Rittenour's two-out, RBI-single to center scored Layney Lombardo with the tying run in the seventh and Lake Oswego tacked on five more runs in the eighth, rallying past the Pioneers for an 11-6 Three Rivers League win.

Lake Oswego's Marin Penney went 4 for 5 with a two-run homer and Lombardo added three hits and four RBIs to lead a 16-hit attack that carried the Lakers into a first-place tie with Tualatin, one game ahead of Tigard. After a Friday, April 26, loss to Tigard, the Lakers are currently 4-2 in TRL play and 10-9 overall, while the Pioneers fell to 3-3 in league and 7-11 overall after a non-league loss to Mountainside on Friday.

Penney also went the distance in the circle, surrendering six runs on seven hits with seven walks and five strikeouts.

"That was probably one of the most intense games I've ever been in," said Penney, the Lakers' senior right-hander. "There were a lot of lead changes and I think the key to our game was we weren't complacent and we kept scoring runs, knowing teams can come back just like we can."

For Oregon City, Isabelle Lewis went 2 for 4 with an RBI double in the sixth inning that scored Phoebe Borkus and gave the Pioneers a 6-5 lead.

In the seventh, Lake Oswego's Sofia Tosoni led off with a single to right field, but then was erased when Lombardo grounded into a fielder's choice. Lombardo advanced to second on Maddie Sticka's groundout and then went to third on Penney's single to right.

Next came Rittenour, who drove a 1-2 pitch from Oregon City reliever Aliyah Kelly into center field, pushing Lombardo home with the tying run.

The Pioneers threatened in the bottom of the seventh when Hannah Stewart led off with an infield single and Emilia Coffman followed with a walk, putting the potential winning run into scoring position with none out. But the threat ended when Penney retired Emily Dugan and Avery Brokus on fly outs to left, and then got Hannah Vickery to ground into an inning-ending fielder's choice to second.

In the eighth, Lake Oswego sent 10 batters to the plate and scored five runs on three hits, one hit batter, one walk and two Oregon City errors. Tosoni drew a bases-loaded walk to push home Lainey Chi with the go-ahead run, and later, Chloe Carnegie, Tosoni, Sticka and Penney also came around to score.

"What a team effort," Lake Oswego coach Chris Gobel said. "I like how aggressive we were at the plate and I loved our aggressive baserunning, too. We put the ball in play and made Oregon City earn the outs. "

Lewis got a two-out single for Oregon City in the eighth and advanced to second on a throwing error, but was stranded in scoring position when Penney retired Avery Pattison on a game-ending groundout to second.

"What I told the girls after the game was we didn't lose that game in the top of the eighth, we didn't win it in the bottom of the seventh," Oregon City coach Dave Adelhart said. "We made a couple of mental mistakes there. We should have got that winning run in and it just didn't happen. That's the breaks of the game, I guess.

"Lake Oswego came out fired up in the top of the eighth and they scored a lot of runs and we didn't answer. I think we may have tensed up, but I don't know."

Penney had something to do that. She wasn't overpowering, but she made big pitches when she needed them – none bigger than the called third strike to end the fifth inning with the bases loaded and the Lakers clinging to a 5-4 lead.

"I knew this game was going to be my game to pitch, so I was rested and I knew I just had to take it one inning at a time, one batter at a time," said Penney, who threw 147 pitches in the game, 78 for strikes. "I definitely made a few mistakes, but that's OK.

"Fatigue can definitely be a factor when you're pitching. I think one bad inning is inevitable for a pitcher in most softball games, but I felt pretty good the whole time."

After Oregon City took a 2-0 lead in the first inning, Lake Oswego scored three in the second and added two more runs in the fifth on Penney's homer to make it 5-2.

The Pioneers answered with two runs in the their half of the fifth and two more in the sixth to regain a 6-5 lead, but it wasn't enough.

"Coming back was great," Adelhart said. "That's the way this team has been all year. They fight and they fight and they fight, and coming back and taking the lead was huge."

Unfortunately for the Pioneers, the lead didn't hold up and their three-game winning streak came to an end to close out the first half of league play.

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