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Tiger bats come alive, bring halt to six-game skid

The Ontario softball team shook off an illness Saturday that has plagued it the last six games.

The Tigers ended a six game slide and took out some frustration with the bat as they defeated the Mac-Hi Pioneers 14-8 and 10-0 in five innings in a Greater Oregon League twin bill at the Ore-Ida Heinz Regional Sports Center.

"Like I told the kids, losing is like a cold," Ontario coach Gordy Ogawa said. "We needed these wins. Those were big wins, keeps us in the playoff hunt. We lost six in a row and couldn't afford to lose two more."

Ontario (8-10 overall, 7-5 GOL) overcame a 8-6 fifth inning deficit in game one with an eight run sixth in which the Tigers clubbed five hits, including consecutive two run doubles from Jena Ogawa and Elizabeth Gonzalez.  Gonzalez was 3-for-4 with two runs scored, two doubles and four RBIs.

"The girls played very well," Ogawa said. "We were down 8-6 in the sixth the first game and then came out and hit the ball well. We'd been leaving too many runners on base. Today we hit the ball real well when we had runners on."

Kena Heck was 3-for-4 for Ontario and scored two runs.  Amanda Richter plated a run and put together three hits in three straight at bats with a double, after walking her first at bat. Ogawa got the win and went the full seven innings, recording two strikeouts and one walk.

"We hit the ball really well the first game and defensively played well enough to win the game," Pioneer coach Barry Weis said. "Give Ontario credit. They came out and hit the ball well, especially the second game. They're a good team. The GOL is a tough league, really tough, from top to bottom."

The Pioneers (4-10 overall, 1-9 GOL) failed to score in the final three frames following a big five-run fourth where they captured a 8-5 lead. Ashely Schuening knocked in two runs and doubled in a 2-for-4 appearance and Jenny Meissner had two RBIs and was 2-for-4.

The Tigers' momentum carried into the late game as the Tigers quickly built a 4-0 advantage behind Tess Aronson's pitching.

Gonzalez delivered an RBI single in the first and Richter and Heather Hofman had RBI singles in the second, followed by an RBI triple by Jaimie Arant and an infield single from Heck that drove in a run.

After being retired in order in the third, Ontario racked up six more runs in the fourth, highlighted by two run doubles from Gonzalez and Maggie Smith-Davidson. Gonzalez went 2-for-3 with three RBIs as Aronson got the win, allowing four hits, fanning two and walking none.

"Jena and Tess threw well, they came in and threw strikes and Elizabeth Gonzalez hit the ball well today. A lot of the girls hit the ball well," Ogawa said.

The Ontario softball bus pulls into Riverside for a GOL doubleheader showdown Friday.

Game 1

Mac-Hi 300 500 0 -- 8 12 1

Ontario 203 018 x -- 14 14 3

Burlingame and Meissner; Ogawa and Gonzalez. WP--Ogawa. LP--Burlingame. 2B--Scheuning (M), Ogawa (O), Gonzalez 2 (O), Smith-Davidson (O), Richter (O).  RBI--Schuening 2 (M), Meissner 2 (M), Patterson (M), Ogawa 2 (O), Gonzalez 4 (O), Richter (O), Hofmann (O), Arant (O).

Game 2

Mac-Hi 000 00 -- 0 4 2

Ontario 130 6x -- 10 9 1

Truax and Meissner; Aronson and Ogawa. WP--Aronson.  LP--Truax. 3B--Arant (O). 2B--Mason (M), Gonzalez (O), Smith-Davidson (O). RBI--Gonzalez 3 (O), Smith-Davidson 2 (O), Richter (O), Hofmann (O).

Copyright 2002 Argus Observer