West Linn overcomes an early 6-1 deficit only to fall to Barlow by two

by: PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: DAVID BALL - West Linns McKenzie Hartdegen prepares to make a play from her spot at third base during Tuesdays 8-6 home loss to Barlow. West Linn’s softball team gave reigning Mount Hood Conference champion Barlow all it could handle Tuesday night, but couldn’t quite overtake the Bruins when a late rally fell short in an 8-6 loss.

The visiting Bruins took command of the game after exploding for six runs in the third inning when the team strung together three straight RBI-singles. Whitney Reed highlighted the scoring spree with an RBI-double that whizzed past an infielder’s glove and rolled into the left-field corner. Reed scored in the next at-bat on Raven Laine’s single into the right-field gap.

“We’ve been working on not pressing at the plate,” Barlow coach Tom Topaum said. “We got deep in the count today, but were still able to do what was needed to put the ball in play.”

West Linn chipped away at the lead through the middle innings with Sarah Von Ahn connecting on a lead-off triple in the fourth. Teammates Caroline Frieling and Danielle DelBene followed with run-producing hits.

Lisa Reavely led off the fifth with a single and came around to score on a fielder’s choice by Von Ahn to slice the deficit to 6-4.

The Lions were poised to pull even when DelBene sent a fly ball into the left-field corner, but Barlow outfielder Maddy Topaum raced onto the scene and made the catch at the foul line to send the Lions back to the dugout.

“There was a lot of pressure, but I was confident I could get to it,” Topaum said. “I went as hard as I could to make that catch.”

The Bruins maintained their two-run cushion into the seventh inning, but picked up two more runs when Kaylee Ree connected on a two-out, full-count single through the middle.

Those extra runs would prove necessary after West Linn came on with its bats in the bottom of the seventh.

West Linn rallied back on an RBI-single by Von Ahn, who reached her hand across home plate to avoid the tag on a wild pitch moments later.

But Barlow kept the tying run in the on-deck circle when Abbie Bergerson struck out the final batter on a full count.

Stellar defensive efforts kept West Linn within striking distance in the late innings.

After just missing on a chance to track down a foul tip at the fence, Lions’ catcher Frieling caught a pop-up halfway down the third-base line to strand runners at second and third in the fifth inning.

In the sixth, infielder McKenzie Hartdegen snagged a line drive at her ankles and fired a quick throw across the infield to double-up the lead-off runner at first base.

View a photo gallery from the game at

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