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After squeezing into the playoffs, the Lions now advance to the quarterfinals with a 9-18 overall record.

PMG PHOTO: AUSTIN WHITE - Tualatin's Remie Strahm singles to centerfield against West Linn during the second round of the Class 6A state softball tournament May 25, 2022, at Tualatin High School.

West Linn High softball's season has been quite a bit like the bloop single from junior Courtney Williams that saved it Wednesday.

The Lions started the year 1-17 and looked as if the season was on the way down for an easy out.

Instead, that floating single found its way to the grass for a hit, and No. 27 seed West Linn's season continued with a 5-3 win over league-rival No. 11 Tualatin in 10 innings.

After a tough season battling through the Three Rivers League, Wednesday was just another example of the grittiness Tualatin displayed all season.

"This is a team that stuck together all year," Tualatin coach Jenna Baird said. "We had four freshmen, three of them were starting all year long and our three seniors led this team to victory for the most part."

West Linn started off on fire, getting a double from leadoff hitter Rylee Gaustad followed by a triple from Ava Sin.

Sin later scored on an infield single from Jenna Wheeler and the Lions were off and running.

However, the Timberwolves quickly responded with two runs themselves in the bottom of the first on singles from Kailyn Engels and Ava Diaz.

Defense took over from there as both sides continued to rip the ball, but always into the glove of a defender.

Tualatin finally broke through in the bottom of the fifth on a single to center from Remie Strahm, but West Linn had the response this time.

PMG PHOTO: AUSTIN WHITE - Tualatin's Camille Schmitz delivers a pitch against West Linn during the second round of the Class 6A state softball tournament May 25, 2022, at Tualatin High School.

Rebecca Gomez singled to center to bring home a run. Chloe Dehlin rounded third as the go-ahead run, but was thrown out at home.

Defense took over again, sending the game into extras as the teams combined for three hits in innings 7-9.

In the 10th, teams start with a runner on second and Tualatin elected to intentionally walk Gaustad to start the frame.

The next two batters flew out and grounded out to the pitcher to keep the runners in place, bringing up Courtney Williams, who earlier made a diving catch at first base to end the seventh inning.

On the second pitch, Williams floated the ball into the space between right field and second with the runners going on contact, allowing both to score and give the Lions a 5-3 lead.

"I didn't see anything," Williams said of the pitch. "This was a crazy, emotional game and I just saw the pitch and I wanted to hit so I tried. Luckily it found a gap."

In the bottom half, Tualatin loaded the bases with no outs, but a line drive caught by West Linn shortstop Cydney Hess who immediately tossed the ball to third to get the double play.

Tualatin grounded out to second on the next batter to close out the game and push the 9-18 Lions into the final eight of 6A.

While the season comes to an end for the Timberwolves, Baird knows her program is in a good place behind the 2022 senior class.

"All three of them have put their mark on the softball program," Baird said. "Every year is a new year. We're going to continue our Tualatin High School legacy and stay positive and have some fun."


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