By Jeremy McDonald
PORTLAND, Ore.– The elements were not too kind Saturday as travel softball teams came to Delta Parks just south of the Interstate Bridge as rain, hail and the occasional sun break greeted the players and it was like a October day instead of early June.
Nonetheless, the girls battled through it as with the Canby Rebel 18U squad as Alexis Finke struck out 10 and Emma Masock drove in four runs in the 17-1 win over West Portland Softball Club.
The competition in the second game picked up as did the rain as it came in waves during the second 90 mintue or so contest against the Red Heat as even the hail started to fall for about a minute or two. But, as Finke handed the reigns over to Shaey Pinner after two innings of one-hit ball and Pinner picked up where Finke and the defense left off in the 6-3 win over the Red Heat Saturday afternoon.
And as the rain taper and the chill of the night creeping in, the Rebels had their toughest of the day with the Bat Company 18U-Riggs squad as BC jumped out to a 2-0 lead on Pinner. But their offense answered with a three-run bottom of the first with two coming from a Pinner single to hand Canby a 3-2 lead entering the second.
Both sides traded zeros with Hannah Couch coming in for the third and fourth innings to relieve Pinner.
“I think all three of us came out and were ready to put in our time on the mound. I know I struggled a little bit but I think everyone helped picked each other up and make it work,” said Pinner who pitched eight innings, striking out 16 batters.
But, the Riggs Crew rallied and build some momentum entering the fifth as when Pinner came out of the dugout as the Rebels were looking for a big stop with Bat Company up 5-4 at that time with the time limit quickly approaching.
Pinner got back-to-back strikeouts to start the fifth inning following a lead-off single, and though Bat Company 18-Riggs got another hit, Pinner’s defense kept it to single’s as she got the final out via strikeout.
“It’s always nerve-racking but I feel like that’s one of the best parts of the game. Like no one wants to come out and just win our first game, but to have games like this is what it’s all about,” said Pinner on re-entering the game. “So even when it’s nerve-racking, it’s a good way to play.”
Couch got on base with a double, was moved to third thanks to Emily Elliott and was brought home when Samantha Baylie grounded into a fielder’s choice. When time expiring, the Rebels had a chance to win it in regulation with runners on second and third, but back-to-back strikeouts forced the International Tiebreaker as Bat Company lined a runner at second.
Pinner and her defense turned a 1, 2, 3 inning as Taylor Dow was placed on second for Canby as Finke was walked. Pinner hit a shallow single to load the bases with Kaleigh Noble coming to plate.
As nerve-racking as the moment was, Noble still relaxed as she sent a infield dribble towards the shortstop and with the fielding perfect and the throw was on-time as Dow came screaming home and sliding, Dow was called safe for the 6-5 win Saturday evening to close out the first-day of the weekend tournament 3-0.
“I was terrified, but it felt good to get that hit and score that run and to win that game. That was a really big win,” said Noble on the hit. “We just needed to get it done and we pushed hard and we did. I know we worked together and we worked as a team today especially during that game.”
And with them off until noon Sunday when they face the winner of these same Bat Company 18U-Riggs team and Hillsboro Diamondbacks 2002, they remembered how last weekend’s bracket play ended all too soon in the first game of the day as their mentality has to be vastly difference than it was after this last game to close out pool play.
“We’re going to go into tomorrow as 0-0 and comeback as hard as we came today and hope we can do the best we can again,” said Noble for Sunday.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald