The Timberwolves move on with a 7-1 victory over McMinnville

DAN BROOD - Tualatin senior Amanda Reser went 4 for 4 at the plate in the Wolves' 7-1 win over McMinnville on Wednesday.TUALATIN — Motivation wasn't a problem.

For the Tualatin High School softball team, all it had to do to was look back a year.

That certainly had the Timberwolves fired up.

And they took it out on McMinnville.

Tualatin, which fell 4-1 to the Grizzlies last year in a Class 6A state playoff first-round game, made sure that McMinnville wasn't about to end its season for the second year in a row. With that in mind, the Wolves got off to a fast start, and never let up, on their way to posting a 7-1 win over the Grizzlies in a Class 6A state playoff second round game played Wednesday at Tualatin High School.

DAN BROOD - Tualatin junior Megan Woodward gave up just one run, on two hits, in the state playoff win over McMinnville."We had revenge on our minds," Tualatin junior pitcher Megan Woodward said after the victory.

"We just wanted to get past the first round," said Tualatin senior second baseman Amanda Reser, who went 4 for 4 at the plate in the victory. "Last year, they stopped us from doing that. It was nice to come back and beat them, and get revenge."

"Everyone was ready for this game," Tualatin junior third baseman Taylor Alton said.

DAN BROOD - Tualatin sophomore first baseman Emily Johansen signals to the outfield during the Wolves' state playoff win over McMinnville.With the loss, McMinnville, the Greater Valley League co-champion, and the No. 10 team in the final OSAA power rankings, finished its season with a final overall record of 21-5.

Tualatin, the Three Rivers League champion, and the No. 7 team in the power rankings, improved to 23-3 on the season. The Wolves also advance to the quarterfinal round of the state playoffs. They'll host Grants Pass in a quarterfinal contest on Friday, starting at 5 p.m., at Tualatin High School.

DAN BROOD - Tualatin freshman shortstop Bella Valdes (right) looks to grab the ball as McMinnville sophomore Lexie McKinley slides to second base in the first inning of Wednesday's playoff game."We were all ready," Reser said of Wednesday's second-round contest. "I didn't want my last game to be a loss."

Well, the hard-hitting, and motivated, Wolves made sure that wouldn't happen.

Tualatin got off to a strong start in the playoff tilt, scoring three times in the bottom of the first inning.

Reser got things rolling with a leadoff single to right field. One out later, Sammi Caron, the only other senior on the Tualatin squad, singled to left field. Sophomore Emily Johansen then drew a walk, loading the bases with one out.

Alton then drove in Reser for the game's first run with a sacrifice fly to deep center field.

DAN BROOD - Tualatin junior Zoe Olivera (left) is safe at second base as she hit a two-run, first-inning double in the 7-1 playoff win over McMinnville."That felt amazing," Alton said. "That got us energized."

Tualatin junior Zoe Olivera followed with a bloop double to shallow center field. Caron and Johansen both scored on the hit, giving the Wolves their early 3-0 lead.

Reser also had a one-out triple in the bottom of the second inning, but the Wolves weren't able to take advantage of that opportunity.

DAN BROOD - Tualatin junior third baseman Amanda Reser (right) throws out McMinnville freshman Megan Bomberger on a bunt during Wednesday's state playoff game.However, with the way Woodward was pitching, and behind some strong infield defense — from Alton at third base, freshman Bella Valdes at shortstop, and with Reser at second — that didn't matter.

The Wolves retired nine Grizzly batters in order, until McMinnville junior Hanna Young drew a one-out walk in the top of the fifth inning, to keep the 3-0 advantage intact.

DAN BROOD - Tualatin coach Jenna Wilson (right) talks to freshman Bella Valdes before her at-bat during Wednesday's state playoff game.Tualatin was then able to add on to its lead in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Valdes singled to center field to lead off the frame. Caron followed with an infield single. Johansen then roped a line-drive single to center field, loading the bases with no outs.

Alton was then hit by a pitching, bringing in Valdes to make the score 4-0. One out later, and with the bases still loaded, sophomore Andrea Gomez was also hit by a pitch, plating Caron to up the margin to 5-0.

DAN BROOD - Tualatin senior Amanda Reser (left) is tagged out by McMinnville junir second baseman Hanna Young during Wednesday's state playoff game.Johansen would then score on a groundout by junior Ella Hillier, pushing the Tualatin lead to 6-0.

Tualatin would add another run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Reser singled to left field to lead off the frame. Junior pinch-hitter Kayla Laird followed with an infield single. Two outs later, McMinnville committed a fielding error on a hard-hit grounder by Alton. Reser scored on the play to push the margin to 7-0.

DAN BROOD - Tualatin junior Kayla Laird beats the throw to first base for a sixth-inning infield single during Wednesday's state playoff game.The Grizzlies tried to battle back in the top of the seventh inning, with freshman Madison Rapp drawing a one-out walk, and junior Ashely Rhoads following with a double to center field. Rapp then scored on a groundout by Young, but Johansen, playing at first base for the Wolves, threw out Rhoads, who was trying to advance to third base on the play, with Alton making the tag, ending the game and starting the Wolves' celebration.

DAN BROOD - Tualatin freshman shortstop Bella Valdes makes a throw to first base during the Wolves' 7-1 win over McMinnville."We all got our energy up, and we were all hitting," Reser said. "When somebody hits, we all do. It's contagious with us."

"Everyone brought the energy," Alton said.

Woodward, in getting the pitching win, gave up one run on two hits, while striking out six and walking two.

DAN BROOD - The Timberwolves celebrate after getting the final out in their 7-1 state playoff win over McMinnville on Wednesday."I felt like I had to come in ready and focused," she said. "I had to keep up the energy."

Reser, in addition to going 4 for 4 at the plate, also tripled scored a pair of runs in the victory. Caron went 3 for 4 with a pair of runs scored. Olivera went 1 for 3, with a double and two RBIs.

Johansen went 1 for 3 with two runs scored. Alton also drove in a pair of runs. Gomez had a hit and an RBI. Valdes had a hit and scored a run. Laird had a hit and Hillier drove in a run.

"We worked all season for this," Alton said.

"This was a blast," Reser said.

"We were all cheering and laughing," Woodward said.

For McMinnville, sophomore Lexie McKinley and Rhoads each had a double.

DAN BROOD - Tualatin coach Jenna Wilson (left) celebrates with her team following the 7-1 state playoff win over McMinnville.Grants Pass, the No. 3 team out of the Southwest Conference and the No. 15 team in the power rankings, brings a 19-9 record into Friday's quarterfinal game.

The winner of Friday's quarterfinal game at Tualatin will face either Glencoe or North Medford in a state playoff semifinal game on Tuesday. The Wolves, if they win on Friday, would be playing on the road in Tuesday's semifinals.

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