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The Fusion gets a 17-3 win over Tillamook in its District 4 tournament opening game

JAIME VALDEZ - Makenna Reid puts the ball into play during the Tigard/TC win over Tillamook.PORTLAND — A little nervousness.

A few first-game jitters.

Sure, the Tigard/Tualatin City Little League Majors (ages 11-12) all-star softball team had to deal with those, but the squad seemed to handle that — and Tillamook — just fine.

The Tigard/TC team, also known as Fusion, shook off that early-game nervousness and ran to a 17-3, four-inning win over Tillamook in an opening-pool play game at the District 4 Tournament, played Monday at Alpenrose Stadium.

"Yeah, they were very nervous," Tigard/Tualatin City manager Steven Dardis said after the game. "We had some first-game jitters, but then they started to relax and played very well."

"We were a little nervous," Fusion catcher Ava Carroll said with a smile. "But it went well."

"Our warm-ups were pretty good," Fusion pitcher/shortstop Peyton Howard said. "And we kept getting better."

JAIME VALDEZ - Ava Carroll (left) and Kani Korok helped the Tigard/Tualatin City team get a 17-3 win over Tillamook.Tillamook, which lost 10-0 to South Beaverton earlier on Monday, fell to 0-2 in tourney pool play with the loss. Tigard/Tualatin City got off to a 1-0 start with the win. The team is also hoping that the impressive victory is a sign of good things to come in the tournament, where the champion advances to play in the Little League Softball World Series.

"We want to win it," Carroll said.

Tigard/TC got off to a fast start in Monday's game, scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning.

Carroll got things started with a leadoff single to center field. She would go on to steal second base. She then moved to third base on a wild pitch, and scored on a Tillamook throwing error on the play.

Later in the opening frame, Jazmyn Jenkins drew a walk. She then stole second base and third base. She also scored on a Tillamook throwing error, giving the Fusion a 2-0 lead at the end of the inning.

After Howard put Tillamook down in order in the top of the second inning, Tigard/Tualatin City exploded for seven runs in the bottom of the frame.

Camille Schmitz got the big inning started with a leadoff double to center field. Schmitz then moved to third base on a wild pitch, and then she scored on Howard's bunt single, making the score 3-0.

JAIME VALDEZ - Peyton Howard gets ready to fire in a pitch during the win over Tillamook.Kani Korok and Carroll then drew back-to-back walks to load the bases. Howard then scored on a wild pitch, upping the lead to 4-0.

Makenna Reid followed with a triple to left field, driving in both Korok and Carroll to push the margin to 6-0. Reid the scored on a fielder's choice grounder by Talia Valdez to make the score 7-0.

Hannah Wilken and Taylor Hadden then both walked, loading the bases again. Valdez then scored on a fielder's choice grounder by Schmitz, making the score 8-0. Wilken would then score on a wild pitch, capping off the scoring in the inning, and giving Tigard/Tualatin City a 9-0 advantage.

Tillamook scored a pair of runs, without the benefit of a base hit, in the top of the third inning to cut the lead to 9-2. But the Fusion made sure the game wouldn't get any closer.

The Tigard/Tualatin City squad kept rolling, putting eight more runs on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third.

Carroll ignited the big inning with a leadoff infield single. Olivia Poulivaati followed with a bunt single. Reid then singled in Carroll, giving Tigard/TC a 10-2 lead.

Jenkins then drew a walk to load the bases. Poulivaati then scored on a fielder's choice grounder by Wilken. Ashley Salstrom then drove in Reid, when Tillamook committed and error on her grounder, upping the lead to 12-2.

Schmitz then plated both Jenkins and Wilken with a single to center field, pushing the margin to 14-2.

One out later, Salstrom and Schmitz both scored when Tillamook couldn't handle Korok's grounder. Korok would then come in to score on a wild pitch, making the score 17-2 at the end of the frame.

Tillamook got a run in the top of the fourth inning to make the final score 17-3.

DAN BROOD - Ava Carroll gets her bat on the ball during the victory over Tillamook."It was good to get this first one out of the way," Dardis said.

"It was good defense and good hitting," Carroll said. "We gave 110 percent."

Tigard/Tualatin City, as a team, had 10 base hits in the victory.

Reid went 3 for 4 at the plate, with a triple, a stolen base, two runs scored and three RBIs. Carroll went 2 for 3, with a stolen base and three runs scored. Schmitz went 2 for 3, with a double, two runs scored and four RBIs.

Ava Jensen, Howard and Poulivaati added one hit apiece, with Jensen hitting a double.

Howard, pitching three innings for Tigard/Tualatin City, gave up one unearned run on two hits, while striking out five and walking none.

"I felt good," she said.

Tigard/Tualatin City went on to play South Beaverton in a pool play game on Tuesday (see related story). The Fusion was then scheduled to face Tillamook and South Beaverton in a pool play doubleheader on Wednesday. Results of those games weren't available when the Times went to press.

The tournament championship game is scheduled to be played Friday at 6 p.m. at Alpenrose Stadium.

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