Oregon City Wins A Marathon Semifinal Over Bend, Advance To 6A Championship

Bend — Look at the definition of instant classic in the sports dictionary: A video of Tuesday’s 6A semifinal between Bend and Oregon City will start to play. It featured a pair of phenomenal sophomores in the circle: Lily Riley and Addisen Fisher. Offense was an absolute premium, and no one could grab any momentum, setting up for one of the most intense, memorable duels in recent history. It took eight innings of scoreless softball to finally see something more than just a goose egg on the board, and the team that finally broke through was the one headed to Eugene for the 6A state championship on Saturday.

Bend ace and 2021 Gatorade Player of the Year Addisen Fisher threw up a trio of strikeouts in the first inning, sending a message that things were normal on her part of things. Lily Riley would hit Sophia Weathers in the opening inning, but she was ultimately thrown out on a steal attempt to end it, keeping it 0-0 after an inning of play. Fisher added five more strikeouts to her total in the second and third inning, while Riley took care of business to remain scoreless after three innings. In the fourth, Fisher put up two more punchouts to give her 12 K’s in four innings, while Riley was faced with a bases loaded and two outs situation in the bottom of the frame. She would escape with no runs allowed and a broken up no-hitter, but it was the score that mattered entering into the fifth inning.

Chloe Stromme would be the first Pioneer to get past Fisher, breaking up her perfect game with a single to right field and Reese Gardner reached on a blooper to put a pair on for Oregon City. As she usually does, Fisher found a way to escape and she did that by recording the final out of the inning on a groundout, keeping it a 0-0 game after 4 1/2 innings. Riley had no problems in the bottom of the fifth, Fisher struck out the side in the sixth, Riley sat down the heart of the order in the sixth, and both teams traded scoreless seventh innings to send it into extra innings still tied 0-0. As fate had it, Riley and Fisher had no problems in the eighth inning either, keeping it 0-0 into the ninth inning.

Things eventually had to open up for someone, and it was in favor of Oregon City in this chapter. The Pios loaded up the bases with no outs in the top of the ninth, putting Fisher in an unprecedented situation on her home turf. Oregon City brought home the first run on an outfield fly that came with a play at the plate, but it went in their favor to make it 1-0. They followed that up with an infield single that was mishandled by Bend, and Chloe Grimmer delivered a gut punching two RBI single with two outs in the ninth, extending it to 4-0 Oregon City after 8 1/2 innings. Weathers led off with a double for Bend, but she would never find home plate as a great outfield catch, Riley strikeout, and one final out pushed the Pios to the 6A state championship 4-0 over Bend. They face fellow TRL rival Tigard in the state championship on Saturday at Jane Sanders Stadium in Eugene.

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