Lake Oswego softball uses two big innings to beat Lakeridge 9-3
The Lake Oswego softball team struck first in its crosstown rivalry game against Lakeridge on Wednesday, April 17.
And then, right when the Pacers began to edge back into the game, the Lakers hit back again — hard.
In the end, Lake Oswego used those two big at-bats to fuel its 9-3 win at Lakeridge High School.
"It's actually been going pretty well," said Lake Oswego junior left fielder Maddie Sticka, who went 2 for 3 at the plate with four RBIs and two runs scored. "We beat West Linn on (Aapril 12) and we really brought the bats and that helped us a lot. We've been bringing the bats and it's been helping us out."
"I felt pretty good today," said Laker senior pitcher Marin Penney, who threw all seven innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and nine walks while striking out 11. "I took the day off yesterday so my body felt a lot better than what I did after Friday's game, but I knew I had to let my defense work and throw a lot of strikes for them."
Along with a 13-1 win over Canby on Friday, April 19, the Lakers improved to 3-1 and a first-place tie with Tualatin in Three Rivers League play (9-7 overall). The Pacers, meanwhile, lost for the third straight time and fell to 0-2 in TRL play and 7-6 overall.
"I think we can compete with any team," said Lakeridge sophomore outfielder Rachel Opferman, who went 1 for 4 at the plate and knocked in two runs. "We just have to come together and we can compete with any team."
"I feel like we really need to make adjustments at the plate depending on the pitcher and we need to keep our positivity and energy up," added Pacer sophomore first baseman/pitcher Summer Mickey, who went 2 for 4 at the plate and also threw two innings of relief, allowing one run on three hits and no walks while striking out one.
After Lakeridge pitcher Mackenzie Nelson threw two scoreless innings at the Lakers, Lake Oswego broke through to take control of the game with a five-run outburst in the top of the third inning. The Lakers loaded the bases on a Chloe Carnegie single, a Pacer error and a Layney Lombardo walk, then saw Sticka come through with a two-run single to left field.
Vivian Rittenour followed with an RBI single to center, Lainey Chi drove in another run with a sacrifice fly and Lily Cuyuch added a run-scoring single to right for that 5-0 lead.
After three scoreless innings by Penney, the Pacers broke through for their first run in the bottom of the fourth. Macie Lappin got things started with a walk, took second on a passed ball, stole third and scored on Riley Nelson's groundout.
With the score still 5-1 entering the sixth inning, the Lakers tacked on four more runs to extend their advantage to 9-1. In that stanza, Lake Oswego loaded the bases on an Allison Sweeney single, an error and a Sofia Tosoni walk to chase Mackenzie Nelson in favor of Mickey.
Mickey got the first batter she faced, but Sticka knocked in two runs on a single to center field and Penney followed next with a two-run single to left.
The Pacers, to their great credit, came back with two runs in their half of the sixth, getting singles from both Lexi Smith and Mickey, a walk to Lindsey Ahrend and a two-run double to center field by Opferman to make it 9-3.
But Penney stopped the Pacers there, getting two outs to end the sixth and allowed two baserunners but no runs in the seventh.
"In league, we definitely have to get momentum because it's a tough league, but I think the biggest thing is getting runs early so we can stay ahead instead of being behind," Penney said.
"Scoring first, like (Penney) said, has been a confidence boost," Sticka said. "It's coming prepared wanting to win, not just showing up, and definitely bringing the bats."
On their side of the field, the Pacers knew what they needed to do to break through and win.
"I feel like we just need to adjust quicker and adjust to the strike zone and the different situations that are happening," Opferman said. "It's just adjusting to the pitcher."