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The senior pitcher struck out 17 of the 21 batters she faced in a dominating performance over No. 14 Central Catholic.

PMG PHOTO: AUSTIN WHITE - Lakeridge's Holly Beeman delivers a pitch against Central Catholic during the first round of the Class 6A state tournament May 23, 2022, at Clackamas High School.

If Lakeridge High softball had only had a pitcher, a catcher and a first baseman playing defense Monday, the Pacers would have been just fine.

That's because senior pitcher Holly Beeman threw a perfect game to lead No. 19 Lakeridge over No. 14 Central Catholic 1-0 at Clackamas High School in the first round of the Class 6A state tournament.

Beeman picked up 17 strikeouts out of the 21 batters she faced, including striking out the first 12 batters of the game and throwing an immaculate inning in the third, three strikeouts on nine pitches.

Three of the other four outs were made by Beeman as well, one coming on a bunt, one on a soft pop-up and the other the final out of the game on a grounder up the middle.

Beeman thanked her defense, but the way she pitched, she really didn't need it.

"All my spins were really working and I was hitting spots," Beeman said. "I was ready to go today … I wanted to get this win and keep going through the playoffs so I'm excited to continue."

Hitting spots is an understatement as Beeman only threw 18 balls all game as Central Catholic hitters fell behind early and often in counts.

Along with the immaculate third inning, Beeman only threw 10 pitches in the second inning with three strikeouts and only threw 11 in the fourth with three more Ks.

"Well, she retired the first 12 hitters on strikeouts and every ball she made the out on except for one, so it's hard to give anybody else credit," Lakeridge coach Katie Boos said with a smile. "She's just an incredible pitcher and I can't wait to see her playing next year in college, continuing her career."

Lakeridge still had work to do offensively, however, as Central Catholic's pitcher Ally Hyde was fantastic in the circle as well, finishing with 14 strikeouts and only five hits allowed.

The last two hits hurt the most, though, as Brooklyn Davis hit a single off the top of the centerfield wall with one out in the top of the seventh inning.

A passed ball, strikeout and a walk left runners on first and second with two outs for Lakeridge's Ella Hoyle. She hit a high fly ball to right field that dropped between the Rams' right fielder and second baseman and allowed the Pacers to bring home one run.

PMG PHOTO: AUSTIN WHITE - Lakeridge's Ella Hoyle connects for a single against Central Catholic during the first round of the Class 6A state tournament May 23, 2022 at Clackamas High School.

That's all Lakeridge needed as Beeman struck out the first batter in the bottom half, caught a fly ball over her shoulder for out No. 2 and then fielded a grounder for the final out.

"I was throwing a lot of rise and drop today and I was mixing those two," Beeman said. "It was working with getting the hitters off balance."

Preparing for this moment has been a need for Lakeridge in the stacked Three Rivers League, in which the Pacers finished fifth with a 4-8 record.

The league put all seven of its teams into the postseason, and all but Canby won first round matchups on Monday.

"Three Rivers League is tough. We're facing some of the best hitters in that league in Oregon," Beeman said. "I think it just prepared me and made me focus in on every little, tiny detail with my pitching."

Boos echoed that statement and knows her senior pitcher has grinded her way the whole season to have this perfect moment in round one.

"Pretty much every game (in the Three Rivers League) we go out and it's a pitchers' battle," Boos said. "(Beeman) always keeps us in the game, keeps the teams close and gives our offense a chance to go out and win.

"We wouldn't be as far as we are without her and I'm just incredibly grateful I get to pitch with her instead of against her."

PMG PHOTO: AUSTIN WHITE - Lakeridge's Holly Beeman, left, watches her throw to first base as Macey Safley makes the grab for an out against Central Catholic during the first round of the Class 6A state tournament May 23, 2022, at Clackamas High School.

Beeman and her 4.4 GPA are heading to Fordham University next year in Bronx, New York, to play softball for the Rams.

Right now, Beeman and the Pacers are looking to keep their momentum going into the next round, a Wednesday, May 25, matchup with league opponent No. 3 Oregon City.

The Pacers split with the Pioneers this season, winning the most recent game 2-0 on May 9.

While the next round may not be as perfect, Beeman and crew will have plenty of momentum going into the rubber match to decide who gets a quarterfinals spot.

"We're going to have practice tomorrow, get some hits in, play a little defense," Boos said on keeping the good times rolling. "We'll be ready for them and focus in on pushing those runners across the plate and win by hopefully a little more than one."

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