It could be an uphill battle for the Pioneers and Cavaliers in league
Oregon City and Clackamas high school softball teams stumbled in last week's final tuneups for the Three Rivers League season.
The Pioneers lost to Grant 3-2 and to Putnam 9-5, while the Cavaliers came up short in games with West Salem and Forest Grove, losing 7-6 and 5-0 respectively.
Oregon City (5-5) entered this week's league opener with West Linn (3-8) ranked 31st in the state in the OSAA RPI rankings; Clackamas (3-7) entered its league opener with Lake Oswego (4-5) ranked 30th.
Lakeridge (5-2) and Canby (8-2) were the only TRL teams to finish preseason with winning records. Lakeridge was ranked sixth in the state; Canby, which had an easier preseason schedule, was ranked 20th
Clackamas and Oregon City go head-to-head this afternoon at Oregon City. Clackamas has an away game with Lakeridge on Friday, while Oregon City travels to Canby.
Last week was a tough week for Oregon City. After dropping the 3-2 barnburner to Grant on April 7, the Pioneers dug themselves an early hole in the 9-5 loss to Putnam on April 10.
Putnam came out on fire, Oregon City coach Dave Adelhart said of the loss to the Kingsmen. They scored five runs in the first inning on four hits and two errors. We settled down after that. But it was too late.
Oregon City junior infielder Kaitlynn Donaca had a big game in the loss, going 3-for-4 at the plate with a double, and scoring two runs.
Putnam earned an 11-8 edge in hitting for the game, Adelhart said. He had each team with four errors.
The Pioneers took an early lead in the Grant game, scoring both of their runs in the first inning on a walk, a sacrifice by Brianna Spencer, and base hits by Donaca (2-for-4), Morgan Bookout and McKenzie Anderson. Bookout and Anderson drove in the early runs.
But Oregon City went scoreless the rest of the way.
We popped up a lot of balls, said Adelhart. We were under the ball the whole game.
Trailing 3-2, the Pioneers had a chance to tie the game and perhaps take the lead, when Katie Harlon led off the top of the seventh with a triple. But Harlon was tagged out at the plate when the Generals turned a ground ball into a double play.
The Clackamas Cavaliers showed up with their soccer shoes on in both of last week's games.
They kicked the ball around for three errors in the 7-6 loss to West Salem and for five errors in the 5-0 loss at Forest Grove.
West Salem scored its seven runs in the first two innings and only two of the seven runs were earned; except for two Cavalier errors and two unearned runs in the third inning, the game with Forest Grove would have been a scoreless tie through the first five innings.
Senior Madsen Vrabel was sharp in relief in the West Salem game, pitching five innings of shutout ball, with four strikeouts and only one hit and one walk allowed.
Paige Whipple pitched for West Salem, striking out eight and walking three.
Ashley Filler (2-for-4) pounded out a double and a triple and scored twice to head up a 7-hit Cavalier offense attack. Jade Haehlen had a two-run home run in the losing effort. McKenzie Giancola had a double and Cassie Haehlen drove in two runs.
Zehr pitched a complete game at Forest Grove, striking out four and walking one, while yielding seven hits and three earned runs.
Forest Grove pitcher Emily Peters (3 strikeouts, no walks) scattered five hits.
Filler (2-for-3) and Corey Erickson (2-for-3) led Clackamas at the plate.