TIGARD – Keeping opponents from scoring hasn't been an issue this season for Tigard's softball team, which has allowed only 22 runs, the second-fewest in 6A behind No. 1 Bend.
For the Tigers to reach their potential, though, the offense must carry its weight.
It all came together Wednesday in a key Three Rivers League game as No. 2 Tigard rolled to a 10-0, five-inning win over No. 3 Canby. The host Tigers got a three-run home run from junior catcher Karen Spadafora in the first inning and erupted for six runs in the second inning on the way to their 10th consecutive win.
“I think it was a confidence boost,” said Spadafora, who went 2 for 3 with four RBIs. “We just needed to get our bats going because lately in games we haven't been.”
Tigard (18-1, 5-0) had nine hits in scoring its most runs in 11 games. The win keeps the Tigers in first place ahead of Oregon City (13-4, 5-1) and Canby (13-4, 3-2).
“It's just stringing hits together,” Tigard coach Pete Kostel said. “We've had situations where we're had runners in scoring position and just haven't had timely hitting.”
The Tigers got another stellar outing from Makenna Reid, their Florida State-bound senior pitcher. Reid pitched a three-hitter with 12 strikeouts and one walk for her fifth consecutive shutout.
“I thought I could've done better in some spots, but it was definitely nice run-ruling them in five innings,” said Reid, who has five 1-0 wins this season. “Not having to worry about those last two innings was really nice.”
For the season, the left-handed Reid is 17-1 with a 0.23 ERA. In 120 innings, she has struck out 267 and walked 17. She has pitched four no-hitters, including a perfect game against 5A Dallas.
The Tigers are leaning heavily on Reid, but considering she is dealing with a sore knee, they could use more games like Wednesday, when the early home run relieved some pressure.
“I know definitely when I went out that next inning it was like, 'OK, I can relax a bit,'” Reid said.
Reid said her knee is sore from overuse.
“I had an MRI yesterday and there's swelling on my MCL,” she said. “I've been taking care of it.”
Through it all, she keeps producing.
“She's just trying to push through,” Spadafora said.
Spadafora, the No. 3 batter in Tigard's lineup, continues to mash the ball. She is batting .350 with 10 home runs and 24 RBIs and entered Wednesday's game with a slugging percentage of .855.
“It's kind of like every time she goes up to the plate, you know something's going to happen,” Reid said. “She has a great swing.”
After sophomore Ella Dardis and junior Nozomi Akin opened Tigard's first inning with singles, Spadafora smashed a high drive over the left-field fence off Canby senior Abigail Loomis to make it 3-0.
“I think it got us going,” Spadafora said. “It started us off, and it kind of set the tone for the rest of the game.”
Spadafora added an RBI single in the second inning, which also included single RBIs from seniors Kaylin Kisor and Kani Korok and a two-run triple by senior Sera Reilly.
Senior Olivia Allison, who started the second inning rally with a double, provided the walk-off blow in the fifth inning when her RBI single off Canby junior reliever Natalie Just made it 10-0.
Tigard's shutout streak also includes league wins over Tualatin and Oregon City, teams tied for No. 7 in the OSAAtoday coaches poll.
“I think right now, these last few games, we are starting to play the way we need to play,” Kostel said.
It's been a rough week so far for Canby, which had its 10-game winning streak snapped Monday with a 4-2 home loss to Oregon City. The Cougars led 2-0 with two outs in the seventh inning – and had two strikes on the batter, with nobody on base – before the Pioneers scored four runs on six consecutive hits.
It was the kind of loss that can fester.
“We tried to have a good practice yesterday to try to get ourselves back on track, but I think there's still some carryover from that a little bit,” Canby coach Ty Kraft said. “They need to get back to competing the way they can.”
Facing Reid on Wednesday made it difficult to bounce back.
“We just didn't battle at the plate like we're used to battling,” Kraft said. “It is what it is. … It's one of those games. Sometimes games go like that. That's softball.”