North Marion falters in Estacada
The postseason hopes for North Marion's softball team took a hit last Thursday with an unexpected 14-4 loss to Estacada.
The host Rangers, who entered the day with one Tri-Valley win, pushed across runs in every inning on its way to the mercy-rule victory, cut short after five innings.
North Marion gained the upper hand early with Lili Piercey sending a two-run single to center field in the first inning. But the rally was cut short when Estacada shortstop Kayla Streicher scooped a ground ball and got the lead runner with a throw home. Felicity Brouwer caught a high fly ball in left field to end the inning with the bases loaded.
Estacada took the lead 3-2 in the bottom of the first when Brouwer beat out an infield single, and the Rangers would never trail again.
North Marion loaded the bases again in the second on two walks and a hit batter, but Estacada escaped unharmed after Emma Radie made a catch on the move in center field, and Jessica Ott caught a fly ball to right for the third out.
The Rangers broke the game open 11-3 with a six-run burst in the third inning that saw Chloe Parkinson, Rylie Canifax, Ashley Runells and Trinity Murin all hit doubles to the fence.
The loss puts the Huskies one spot out of the 4A play-in qualifiers, meaning North Marion will likely have to leapfrog Mazama, Phoenix or league foe Molalla this week to keep its season going.