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Bats figure to be Indians' primary calling card in first year of Class 5A competition

In Class 5A, only six softball teams scored more runs than Scappoose in nonleague play this season. The Indians, known for their hitting prowess and high production in 4A, have brought the bats with them to their new terrain.

The way Scappoose hits the ball and gets hot in a hurry, coach Catherine Baggett knows her team is never out of a game.

"Even when we're down, we can come back and make it a game," Baggett said. "This team has a lot of heart, and they never give up no matter what the score is. Every time we step in the box we're ready to make something happen and push forward. If we're down by a few (runs) or a lot, anything can happen."

Baggett hopes that confidence and mental toughness carry over to Northwest Oregon Conference play, which for Scappoose begins at Wilsonville at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

"If we know we can come back no matter what the score is, we're going to give everyone a run for their money," Baggett said. "I would love to say we're going to take the league, but finishing in the top three would be great. We have to play good defense, back up our pitchers and make sure every time we get up to bat we know we can make things happen."

Being the NWOC newcomer, Baggett said she can only base her conference assumptions off current stats, which don't carry as much as weight because of strength of schedule and quality of opponents. She said the Indians will approach every new opponent with the same mentality.

"I like to go in not knowing much the first time and just think everyone is high competition," she said. "Then we want to rise to that occasion and play however we're going to play Scappoose ball.

"We have a great group of girls, and the preseason told us where everyone should go and what their role is. Having eight seniors, we're a mature team, which is nice."

Scappoose had its final nonleague game washed out, as rain kept the Indians home on Tuesday instead of in South Albany for a game. So the Indians remained 2-5-1 overall, with an average of 10 runs per outing and with six games of nine runs or more scored.

Seniors Taylor Johnson, Sara Mills and Payton Fisher were Scappoose's three top hitters at the spring-break Redmond tournament, leading the Indians in on-base percentage and RBIs and helping them stop Summit 22-2 in their third of four games on the trip.

"Against Summit, everyone just crushed the ball," Baggett said. "Everybody did great. And against Redmond and Philomath (losses of 12-11 in eight innings and 10-9), we were down for most of both games, and it took everyone to rally together to work and hit the ball."

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