West Linn rallies late to beat Lake Oswego 12-7
The Lake Oswego softball team came into its Monday, April 29, game against West Linn near the top of the Three Rivers League standings and promptly dropped five runs on the visiting Lions.
West Linn, however, held its ground, steadied itself and scored 12 runs in the game's final three innings to beat the Lakers 12-7 at Lake Oswego Junior High School.
"We weren't quite sure if we were going to win, but then we started to rally together and came together as a team and actually scored some runs," said West Linn junior first baseman Ali Campbell, who went 1 for 3 at the plate and drove in two runs.
"It's not the first time that we've been down early, but a lot of times, we come back in the late innings so we just needed to pull it together and start hitting the ball solid and start hitting as a team," said West Linn junior left fielder Lauren Amesquita, who went 1 for 2 at the plate with a two-run homer, two walks and two runs scored.
With the win — the team's second straight — the Lions improved to 3-4 in the TRL (4-16 overall), good for a fourth-place tie with Oregon City and Canby. The Lakers, meanwhile, lost for a second straight time and fell to 4-3 in the TRL (10-10 overall) and sole possession of third place in league.
"We didn't give up or anything, but we just got complacent," said Lake Oswego senior center fielder Layney Lombardo, who went 3 for 5 against the Lions. "When we play any of these teams, we're all kind of on the same level so we need to keep pushing and get our bats going."
"We kept our focus, but I think we lost our momentum in the inning when they began hitting and that got our energy down and our focus down," added Lake Oswego sophomore catcher Allison Sweeney, who went 2 for 4, knocked in two runs and scored once.
The Lakers grabbed the early lead on Monday when they pushed two runs across in the bottom of the second inning, getting singles from both Chloe Carnegie and Lily Cuyuch, then scoring both on a pair of West Linn errors to grab a 2-0 lead.
The Lakers then tacked on three more in the bottom of the fourth to grab what seemed to be a commanding 5-0 edge. Maddie Sticka reached base on a fielder's choice, Marin Penney got to first on an error and Vivian Rittenour then doubled down the third base line to score Sticka. Sweeney came through next with an RBI single to center that also brought Rittenour home on an error.
"I felt like we had a lot of energy and we really had a drive to win at the beginning of the game," Sweeney said.
But the Lions, after going hitless in the game's first three innings, broke through with four runs in the top of the fifth to tie the game 4-4. The Lions loaded the bases on two walks and a Paige Mueller single, then saw Ava Sin knock in her team's first run with a bloop single over third base, Gracie Hook singled off Penney's glove for another score and the final two came home on Campbell's single to right.
Then, after reliever Delaney Southards — she pitched the final four innings and picked up the win for West Linn — held the Lakers scoreless in their half of the fifth, the Lions poured across six more runs in the sixth to take control for good.
West Linn's Kaci Allen opened with a leadoff walk and Amesquita followed with a long shot over the right field fence that gave her team a 6-4 edge.
"I kind of I knew what she was going to throw," Amesquita said. "I knew what pitch I wanted to hit and that's the pitch I was looking for and I got it and I was like, 'There it is.' At first, I didn't think it was going to go over — I thought it was just going to hit the fence — but it went over and I was like 'Oh. OK. Well that works too.'"
Mueller reached base on an error and scored one out later when Sin tripled into left field. Taylor Maxwell followed with an RBI double to right, and after the Lions loaded the bases, Allen singled to left with two outs to knock in two more runs and boost her team's lead to 10-5.
The Lakers edged back within 10-7 in the bottom of the frame — getting an RBI single by Carnegie — but the Lions answered with a two-run Southards single in the seventh and Southards then stranded two LO runners in the final at-bat to end the game.
"We built up on each other's hits," Campbell said. "We'd hit and then we'd support (our teammates) and go up to bat and then hit again and it was a cycle of just more and more hits."
"We had a lot of baserunners on which is great and every inning we kept pushing," Lombardo said. "We just need to string together our hits more."
Sin went 2 for 3 at the plate with two RBIs and three runs scored, Maxwell was 2 for 5 with one RBI and one run, and Allen went 1 for 3 with two RBIs. For Lake Oswego, Sticka went 2 for 5 and scored once, Carnegie was 2 for 4 with one run and one RBI, and Cuyuch was 2 for 4 with one run.