Projecting upward

Camas softball team begins playoffs today as the No. 1 seed

Sophomore Allie Hancock and juniors Emma Jimenez and Alexis Tiedy led the hit parade on Senior Day.

The Camas High School softball team thumped Heritage 11-0 in five innings Thursday to secure the league championship.

“It felt great putting a score like that on a team that beat Union and Battle Ground,” said senior shortstop Tori O’Neill.

“This game right here is going to send a big message,” added senior center fielder Maddie Neely. “We hit a rough patch, but now we’re stronger than we have ever been. I think that score on the board proves that.”

Tiedy and Jimenez delivered 3-run home runs in third and fourth innings. Hancock went 3-for-3 at the plate, drove in three runs and scored twice. Tiedy finished with 4 RBI.

“As soon as I got in the dugout, I said that home run was for my seniors,” Jimenez said.

“It’s for the seniors and the team for making it this far,” Tiedy added.

Senior pitcher Katie Schroeder racked up eight strikeouts in four innings. BrieAnn Brock set a school record with 174 strikeouts in 1999. It now belongs to Schroeder. She has 200 strikeouts in 119.1 innings pitched so far this season, to go along with a 17-2 record.

“I’ve never been a part of a team like this,” Schroeder said.

Camas moved into first place in league with a 2-1 victory at Battle Ground Wednesday. The Tigers defeated the Papermakers 3-2 in Camas a few weeks ago, so the Papermakers were looking for some payback.

“We were not going to leave this field until we won the game,” Schroeder said. “We’ve grown so much as a team since then. We knew it was not going to be the same outcome as before.”

The Papermakers took the lead in the top of the sixth inning. Tianna Bevens fouled off a few pitches to stay alive, worked the count full and earned first base on ball four. O’Neill dropped a bunt in front of home plate and beat the throw to first. Hancock hit a line drive off the shortstop’s glove to load the bases. Schroeder served a pitch up the middle for a 2-run single.

“I couldn’t have done it if there weren’t runners on base,” Schroeder said. “I’d been popping up all day, so I just wanted to hit the ball hard on the ground.”

Camas (17-3) plays at 6 p.m. today in the district tournament, at Battle Ground High School.

“I could not feel any better about our progression heading into the postseason. We’ve been battle-tested, and gotten better every game,” said coach Tim Searight. “We’re peaking at the right time. I want to see us continue on this trajectory. We haven’t hit our ceiling yet.”

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