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Trojans rally from 0-3 start, claim big victories over Molalla and Jefferson

The Kennedy softball team picked up its first victory of the season at the tail end of spring break and followed it up with two more last week, defeating the 4A Molalla Indians 10-6 on Monday, April 1 before taking a 20-0 victory at Jefferson two days later.

The win over the Lions on April 3 was an emphatic way to open the league schedule, where Kennedy (3-3) is seeking to claim a fourth straight Special District 2 title this spring.

It was the first shutout of the season for the Trojans, which saw a three-hit, nine strikeout performance from sophomore Ellie Cantu to pick up the win in five innings.

Kennedy applied offensive pressure throughout the game, scoring at least three runs in each of the first four innings, including a nine-run fourth that put the finishing touches on the victory.

As impressive as Cantu was on the mound, she was equally effective in the batter's box, going 4-for-5 with six RBIs and a pair of runs scored, as the Trojans tallied up 15 hits and 12 walks on offense.

Two of the walks came in the first two at-bats of the game to put freshman Lydia Berning and sophomore Elise Suing on base before junior Grace Schaecher drove them both home with a towering home run to left field to make it a 3-0 game.

Cantu picked up her first RBI later in the inning on a line drive to center field that brought home teammate Emily Cuff, and the route was on.

Kennedy scored four more runs in the second and three more in the third to bring their score to 11-0 before the team's nine-run inning in the fourth.

Schaecher was 3-for-4 with four RBIs and three runs, while Kalyssa Kleinschmit went 3-for-5 with three runs scored. Berning led the team with three walks from the leadoff position.

Earlier in the week, the Trojans took down the 4A Molalla Indians, who entered the game on a six-game win streak.

Kennedy once again got the show started quickly, plating six runs in the opening inning. Berning started things with a leadoff single and stole second before Scaecher brought her home on single up the middle from Schaecher.

Emily Cuff doubled to score Scaecher, and after a grounder from Cantu to record the second out, the Trojans picked up three more runs before closing out the inning.

The Indians punched back in the top of the inning, going on a two-out rally to score three runs against Schaecher on the mound. But Kennedy continued to add runs in each of the first four innings to gradually pull away for the win.

Schaecher struck out seven and gave up four earned runs in the first four innings before Cuff took over in the fifth, pitching the final three innings to secure the win.

Freshman Alex Eyles was 3-for-3 with a pair of RBIs and two runs scored in the win, while junior Sophia Carley was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored.

The Trojans were scheduled to host the Colton Vikings on Wednesday, followed by a trip to Western Christian on Thursday.

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