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Senior Tressa Riedman hits first-pitch home run, finishes with three hits at the plate and 12 strikeouts on the mound

PHIL HAWKINS - The Kennedy Trojans advanced to the quarterfinals for the third consecutive year after defeating the Riddle Irish 13-0 in the first round of the 2018 2A/1A State Playoffs on Wednesday.It didn't take long for Kennedy senior Tressa Riedman to make an impact in last week's first round win over the Riddle Irish.

After opening the game by striking out the first three batters, Riedman led off the bottom of the frame, driving the first pitch she saw into the trees behind the left field fence at Kennedy High School.

The No. 2 Trojans didn't slow down much from there, scoring at least two runs in every inning while holding the Irish to a single hit courtesy of 12 strikeouts from Riedman in five innings of work as the team cruised to a 13-0 victory and its third consecutive quarterfinal appearance.

"Our team did so good today, I'm so proud," Riedman said. "I think our whole team was excited about it. Our whole team was pumped, our whole team was hitting — it was a team effort on offense."

Together the Trojans tallied 10 hits and seven walks in addition to reaching base twice on two Irish errors as Kennedy (21-4, 17-1 Special District 2) strung together its 12th straight win and 18th victory with double digit runs this season.

On offense, Riedman led the way as well, going 3-for-3 with two RBIs, a walk and her home run. Freshman Hailey Arritola led the team with three RBIs, while her sister, senior Hannah Arritola scored a team-high three runs off a pair of walks and an error.

The win put Kennedy in line to face a familiar foe at home in the quarterfinals — the No. 10 North Douglas Warriors (21-7, 14-4 Special District 3). This will be the fifth straight year the two teams have faced off in the post season. North Douglas eliminated Kennedy in the first round in 2014 and 2015, while the Trojans took out the Warriors in the quarterfinals in 2016.

PHIL HAWKINS - Kennedy senior Tressa Riedman rounds third base and eyes home after hitting a home run off the first Riddle pitch of the game in the Trojans' 13-0 win. Riedman finished the day going 3-for-3 at the plate with a walk, two RBIs and a run scored and added 12 strikeouts and just one hit allowed on the pitcher's mound.But the loss that stung the most came last year when Kennedy entered the playoffs ranked No. 1 in the state before the fifth-ranked Warriors scored a 3-2 victory in the semifinals to eliminate the Trojans once again.

North Douglas went on to win the state championship, while Kennedy was left holding the ball, done for the season one game earlier than expected. That loss has hung over the heads of the Trojans, and Riedman — among others — is motivated to get payback one year later.

"I want to get revenge really badly," she said.

Kennedy is looking to get to the semifinals for the third straight year in a row. In each of the past two seasons, the Trojans were eliminated by the eventual champions — Pilot Rock in 2016 and North Douglas last year. This time the Trojans are hoping it's their turn to hoist the trophy at the end of the season, but the team is taking additional care not to focus on the June 2 title game and instead keep laser focus on the opponent immediately in front of them.

"I looked too far ahead last year, I think our whole team did," Riedman said. "I think we just need to take it one game at a time."

The Trojans and Warriors square off today at 3:30 p.m. at Kennedy High School. The winner will advance to next week's semifinal game against either No. 3 Central Linn (22-2, 16-2 SD 2) or No. 6 Monroe (19-5, 17-1 SD3).

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Playoff rivals

The Kennedy Trojans and North Douglas Warriors will meet for the fifth straight post season on Friday. The Warriors have owned the series in that span, eliminating the Trojans from the playoffs in three of the past four seasons.

2017 — North Douglas 3, Kennedy 2

2016 — Kennedy 9, North Douglas 1

2015 — North Douglas 6, Kennedy 3

2011 — North Douglas 11, Kennedy 1

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