Tigard tips Tualatin in 10-inning thriller
TUALATIN — The Tigers got off to a roaring start.
The Timberwolves came battling back in a big way.
And things got intense — very intense — after that.
But, when things came to an end, following 10 innings of hard-fought high school softball, Tigard was the team celebrating.
The Tigers, coming through in the clutch in crucial moments, came away with a 5-4 extra-inning win over the rival Wolves in a Three Rivers League battle played Monday at Tualatin High School.
"I'm so proud of us," said Tigard junior center fielder Lexi Klum, who had a monster game with a home run and triple while also throwing out a pair of runners at the plate. "The fact that we stayed in it the whole way, because we had a similar experience last year (when the Wolves got a 1-0, 10-inning home win over the Tigers), and to beat Tualatin twice — that's something we'll never forget."
"It was stressful, but we really came together as a team and pulled it out when we needed to," said Tigard junior second baseman Abby Soderquist, who turned a game-ending double play in the bottom of the 10th inning.
With the loss, Tualatin moved to 7-3 in TRL games (19-4 overall), putting the Wolves in second place in the league standings. Tigard, which also beat Tualatin 3-1 earlier this year, ending Tualatin's 45-game winning streak, improved to 7-2 in TRL play (17-6 overall), putting the Tigers in first place in the league standings.
"I think this shows that we'll do anything to win and pick each other up," Soderquist said.
"We have good character, and we can keep pushing through to get the win," Klum said.
Tigard grabbed the early lead in Monday's game, getting a run in the top of the first inning. Klum got things started with a leadoff triple to the fence in right-center field. Klum then scored on a bunt by senior Maddie Hoover, giving the Tigers a quick 1-0 lead.
Tigard then scored three more runs in the top of the third. Again, Klum ignited the inning, this time with a leadoff home run over the fence in left-center field, making the score 2-0.
The Tigers didn't stop there. Hoover followed with a single to right field and sophomore Sophia vanderSommen got on base when Tualatin committed an error on her bunt. Junior Emily Paulson then walked to load the bases. Freshman Kani Korok then smacked a double to right-center field, driving in both Hoover and vanderSommen to up the Tigard lead to 4-0.
The Tigers still held a 4-0 advantage heading into the bottom of the fifth inning, but that's when Tualatin got its offensive attack going.
Junior Tia Ridings led off the frame for the Wolves with a single to center field. Senior Andrea Gomez followed with an infield single. One out later, freshman Leanna Rosenbaum singled to left field to load the bases.
Tualatin junior Sydney Wagner then singled to center field, driving in Ridings, but Klum was able to throw out Gomez on a close play at the plate, with Paulson making the tag.
But the Wolves didn't let up. Junior Savannah Braun singled to center field, driving in junior courtesy runner Bella Valdes. Freshman Ella Hoyle then singled to center field, loading the bases again. Senior Lily Marshall then singled to right, driving in both Wagner and Braun to tie the game at 4-4.
With the score still tied at 4-4 going into the bottom of the seventh inning, Tualatin threatened to come away with a walk-off win. Braun led off the frame with a double to right-center field. Hoyle then singled to center, but Klum was able to throw out Braun on another close play at the plate. Soderquist then turned a double play after snagging a line drive, sending the game to extra innings.
Tigard threatened in the top of the ninth inning, getting a two-out single by Klum and a double by Hoover. But Tualatin freshman relief pitcher Camille Schmitz was able to coax a foul-ball pop-out to get out of the threat.
In the top of the 10th inning, with vanderSommen starting the frame on second base under the international tie-breaker rule, Paulson put down a sacrifice bunt to start the inning, with vanderSommen moving to third base. Then, after Korok walked, vanderSommen was able to score on a fielder's choice grounder by freshman Makenna Reid, giving Tigard a 5-4 lead, which it took to the bottom of the 10th, where the Wolves started with Wagner on second base.
Reid, pitching for the Tigers, coaxed a pop-up for the first out of the inning. Hoyle then ripped a hard-hit line drive to the right side, but Soderquist caught the ball and made a quick throw to Hoover, Tigard's shortstop, at second base for a game-ending double play.
"She's been coming to second all game long, and I was just on my toes," Soderquist said of the final play of the game. "I just knew where the runner was and what needed to happen. It felt amazing. I just looked at Maddie and I was screaming. We just kept our energy up the whole, entire game, and we never lost our confidence."
"It was working together," Klum said of the key to victory. "We finally figured out the bits and pieces, and now we're moving on."
Klum, in the win, went 3 for 5 at the plate with a home run, a double, two runs scored and an RBI. She also had a pair of outfield assists at home plate and made a spectacular leaping catch of a fly ball in the bottom of the eighth inning.
"Lexi, she's amazing," Soderquist said. "She just pulled it out for us. We have all the confidence in her."
"This was so fun," Klum said. "We're going to party really hard tonight."
"It's always fun playing Tualatin," Soderquist said.
Korok went 2 for 4 at the plate for the Tigers with a double and two RBIs. Hoover went 2 for 4 with a double, a run scored and an RBI, while vanderSommen scored twice.
Reid pitched all 10 innings for the Tigers. She gave up four runs on 14 hits, while striking out four and walking two.
For Tualatin, Marshall went 3 for 4 with two RBIs. Braun went 2 for 4 with a double, a run scored and an RBI. Rosenbaum went 2 for 4. Hoyle and senior Emily Johansen each went 2 for 5. Wagner went 1 for 5 with a run scored and an RBI.
Schmitz threw seven strong innings in relief for Tualatin, giving up one run on two hits, while striking out eight and walking two.
Both teams will be back in league play on Wednesday. Tigard will host Lakeridge at 5 p.m. and Tualatin will face West Linn at 6:30 p.m. at Rosemont Ridge Middle School. On Friday, Tigard will travel to Canby for a 5 p.m. league game and Tualatin will play at Jesuit in a non-league contest starting at 5 p.m.