It was a game to remember for the ages, one to never be lost in the archives of the OSAA but to be remembered as an all-time instant classic. A 10-inning battle between Tigard and Oregon City, featuring two of the best pitchers in all of Oregon: Lily Riley and Makenna Reid. Reid was Florida State bound and looking to go out with a title, something that her fellow D-1 counterparts had failed to achieve in their title games. On the other hand, Riley is a sophomore who went from being relatively unknown on a statewide stage to becoming a headliner en route to the state championship. She defeated fellow sophomore and 2021 Gatorade Player of the Year Addisen Fisher to reach the title game, shutting out a high-powered Bend squad in an epic performance. Only if fate would’ve told us that her state championship debut would even top that one and top it in ways that are simply mind-blowing.
Reid set a state record for strikeouts in a state championship, throwing up 21 punch-outs over her 10-inning battle with Riley, who ultimately finished with 14 strikeouts herself in nine innings of work. Reid was throwing harder than Riley, it sounded like the sound of a baseball pounding Karen Spadafora’s mitt every time she threw. While Riley couldn’t match the velocity, she still had the mustard that kept Tigard swinging and chasing after the ball all night. She managed to maintain a perfect game until the 5th inning, while Reid had a no-hitter until the 7th inning when Allyson Nordling broke it up with a single to right field. In the circle, they were near equals in terms of performance, not fully separating until the final inning when Tigard ultimately won it on an RBI single by Spadafora, the lone blemish on what was otherwise a complete gem from Riley.
The final stat lines speak for themselves: Reid had 21 strikeouts, one walk, and allowed three hits in 10 innings. Riley had 14 strikeouts, one walk, and allowed three hits in 9 innings. Again, near equals until the final inning when the RBI single finally broke a stalemate between the two aces. The differences were very minimal: Reid threw harder and had nastier stuff to fling and she ultimately got a lone run of support to win the game. Other than that, Riley achieved a near identical stat line with pitching that didn’t have the fine tuning of that of Reid, a product of two years age difference between them. By the time she is a senior, Riley might be putting up those types of numbers in her own state championship moment. However, Riley did two things on Tuesday: She captured the full attention of a state that had largely overlooked Oregon City for the likes of Bend and Tigard, and she earned the respect to be considered 6A’s top pitcher headed into 2023. Reid won a title before heading to Florida State, but she also passed down the torch to Riley in the same token. When Riley heads off after her senior season, there is no doubt that she will be considered one of Oregon’s best pitchers in the modern era when it is all set and done. For now, she inherits the torch as 6A’s and arguably Oregon’s best pitcher heading into the 2023 season.