Sophomore Ana Fifita (9) has been outstanding in the circle and at the plate for Westview. (Photo courtesy Westview HS)
Sophomore Ana Fifita (9) has been outstanding in the circle and at the plate for Westview. (Photo courtesy Westview HS)

Longtime Westview softball coach Ronda McKenzie acknowledges that her team doesn't have “ooh-ahh pitching” or a lineup stacked with heavy hitters.

But the Wildcats – with nine seniors, many of them teammates dating back to the Little League Softball World Series – do have elite chemistry.

“We have the maturity and experience to compete with anybody,” McKenzie said.

Westview's bond has never been more apparent than during its current seven-game winning streak. During the stretch, the Wildcats (12-2) – ranked ninth in the OSAAtoday 6A coaches poll – have defeated 5A No. 8 Canby 8-0, 5A No. 3 Bend 7-0, 6A No. 4 McMinnville 12-2 and 6A No. 1 Sherwood 5-2.

Beating McMinnville, Sherwood and Metro League rival Jesuit in consecutive games last week provided a glimpse of the Wildcats' potential.

“Honestly, I was just kind of hoping we'd get two wins out of the three games,” said McKenzie, whose team added to its streak Monday by rolling to a 4-1 win at Mountainside.

Westview's winning streak started after a 5-3 loss at Coronado (Nev.). The Wildcats' only loss to an Oregon team this season was a 8-1 defeat at No. 2 Oregon City on March 22.

Westview is getting a big season from sophomore pitcher Ana Fifita. Entering the week, she had thrown 62 2/3 innings, given up 47 hits, struck out 92 and walked 11, compiling a 1.90 ERA.

“She's got some good velocity, not fast enough to blow it by people, but enough to make it interesting,” McKenzie said. “It's her movement that makes her effective. She's young, so she's still getting better each game. She does a good job getting ahead in the count.”

Fifita tossed a four-hit shutout with 12 strikeouts against Canby, threw five shutout innings against Bend and pitched a three-hitter with 10 strikeouts to blank Jesuit. Fifita and senior pitcher Kallan Bordwell-Gray combined in the circle to hold down McMinnville, Sherwood and Mountainside.

Fifita also is producing at the plate, hitting .387 with a team-high five home runs and 10 RBIs. Other Wildcats enjoying strong starts are seniors Sophia Groshong (.404, 20 runs, 17 stolen bases), Evyn Morriss (.488), Bridgette Boling (.472, 12 RBIs), Sophia Cherry (.452, eight doubles, 15 RBIs) and Jules Hayes (.243, three home runs, 12 RBIs).

Westview trailed McMinnville 1-0 through three innings before exploding for 12 runs, scoring in each of the last four innings. Fifita belted a three-run homer in the fourth inning to put the Wildcats ahead. Cherry had seven RBIs, hitting two doubles and a homer.

In the win over Sherwood, Hayes ripped a two-run homer, Fifita hit a three-run blast and Bordwell-Gray came through in the circle, pitching five scoreless innings before yielding to Fifita.

Fifita and Bordwell-Gray combined to shut down Mountainside on Monday. Morriss and Bordwell-Gray each drove in two runs and Groshong had two hits, two stolen bases and two runs.

The pitchers have benefited from airtight infield defense: Hayes at first base, Groshong at second base, Morriss at shortstop and senior Taylyn Lampo at third base.

“Our infield is one of the best I've had the opportunity to coach,” said McKenzie, who is 594-229 in 31 seasons of coaching, 29 at Westview.

Hayes is a third-year starter at first base and Groshong moved from outfield to second base last season. Morriss and Lampo switched spots this season.

“Evyn is one of the best shortstops I've ever had,” McKenzie said. “She's got good range, very consistent fielding and such a quick release.”

Westview went 17-12 last season, sharing the Metro title with Southridge. The Wildcats lost at South Salem 10-0 in the second round of the 6A playoffs.

TRL showdown

No. 5 West Linn (13-1, 3-0) took over first place in the 6A Three Rivers League on Monday night with a 2-0 home win over No. 2 Oregon City (12-2, 2-1).

The Lions won behind freshman pitcher Avery Wolf, who threw a one-hitter with five strikeouts and no walks and was backed by errorless defense.

West Linn collected eight his off Pioneers senior Lily Riley. Meg Allen hit a solo homer and Kendall Atwood, Rylee Gaustad and Gracie Gabel each had two hits in the win.

The Lions have won 10 in a row since a loss to 5A No. 1 Dallas. Gaustad has provided power, hitting home runs hitting home runs against West Salem and Tualatin last week. Atwood had four hits against West Salem.

Highlights from the past week:

Central Catholic senior Gracie Huston threw a perfect game in a 12-0, five-inning win at Clackamas on Friday. She pitched the Rams to three wins last week, allowing seven hits and fanning 32. She also had four RBIs. Rams freshman infielder Olivia Pompetti had another impressive week, going 4 for 8 with three doubles, a home run and eight RBIs. … No. 7 Astoria handed No. 2 St. Helens its first loss of the season April 9, winning 3-2 at home in a 4A Cowapa League game. Maddie Wilkin threw a one-hitter with 17 strikeouts to record the win. St. Helens also lost its next game, falling 8-7 at 3A No. 3 Yamhill-Carlton on April 11. …

Hillsboro freshman catcher Anika Webster smacked three home runs in a 8-7 win at Clackamas on April 2. Last week, Webster went 12 for 16 with 12 RBIs and 13 scored runs. She also threw out four of five runners attempting to steal. … In her first start in the circle for reigning 4A champion The Dalles, sophomore Siyra Faulker threw a five-inning no-hitter to win 10-0 over Gladstone on Monday. She also had two hits. … Sophomore Abigal Perkins had a triple and seven RBIs to lead McLoughlin past DeSales (Wash.) 14-4 on April 11. …

Salem Academy junior Addi Bennett struck out 15 in five innings, allowing one hit, to beat Country Christian/North Clackamas Christian 13-0 on April 8. … Century freshman Michelle Katke struck out 11 in a five-inning perfect game to top North Salem 11-0 on April 11. … Cleveland sophomore Kailen Steffek was on fire at the plate last week, going 12 for 14 with five doubles, two triples and 11 RBIs in three games.