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Kingsmen crank up their bats


Putnam punishes the ball for 23 hits in its final two tuneups for NWOC play

The Rex Putnam Kingsmen had their bats working in last week's final tuneups for the Northwest Oregon Conference league softball season, a 9-5 win over Class 6A Oregon City and a 14-6 loss to Class 6A Lakeridge.

The Kingsmen pounded out 12 hits in Friday's win at Oregon City and they stung the ball for 11 hits in the loss to Lakeridge.

“We've got to do a better job of taking care of the ball, but we hit the ball really well,” said Putnam coach Tiffany Strnad. “Heading into league, we feel pretty confident about things to come.”

Ranked 11th in the state in Class 5A, the Kingsmen (7-4) were to meet fourth-ranked Sandy (8-3) in their April 15 NWOC opener. “They entertain Wilsonville (2-10) Friday and Milwaukie (1-9) next Tuesday.

Eight different Putnam players put the bat on the ball for hits in last Friday's win over Oregon City.

Sophomore Sydney Nichols (2-for-4) drove in four runs; junior Maggie Waymire (2-for-3, double) drove in three runs.

Senior Ashley Culp went 2-for-3 at the plate, with a run-scoring triple; senior Taylor Balfour (2-for-4) made contact for a pair of hits.

The Kingsmen put five runs on the scoreboard in the first inning, when Nichols, Balfour, and Kate Betschart rapped singles, and Waymire cleared the basis with a double.

Nichols pushed the winning runs across in the third, with a timely two-run single.

Sophomore Brooke Snyder pitched a complete game, striking out one and giving up nine hits.

Balfour, Betschart, Culp and Waymire all went 2-for-4 at the plate and each of them hit doubles in the loss to Lakeridge.

But the Pacers reached three Putnam pitchers for 15 hits and eight walks.