Ellie Joseph’s near-perfect game lifts Oregon City softball past Southridge

The Oregon City softball team defeated Southridge on Wednesday evening, March 20, improving to 3-0 on the season with a low-scoring 3-2 victory at Southridge High School.

“We gotta score more than three runs,” Oregon City head coach Mackenzie Washington said. “That’s three games in a row where we’ve been sitting in that three-to-four range, and that’s not enough. We have to put a little bit more on the board to help our pitchers out.”

Junior left-hander Ellie Joseph led the way for the Pioneers in the win, maintaining a perfect game until the final out of the ballgame, when a pop-fly was dropped in the outfield to keep the bottom of the seventh inning alive.

The next batter for the Skyhawks, junior Sierra Llamas, brought the score to 3-2 with a two-run homer just a few pitches later, making things too close for comfort for Oregon City in what was an otherwise dominant defensive performance.

“They’re hard on themselves, so they recognize that was a perfect game up until that last out,” Washington said. “They recognize that and they know it, so they’ll put their heads down and they’ll get to work to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

Still, a three-run fourth inning proved to be just enough for the Pioneers on Wednesday, as a one-out double by senior Chloe Grimmer sent sophomore Caiden Grimmer and Joseph across the plate, while senior Lily Riley’s single scored Chloe Grimmer just moments later.

Alongside those three fourth-inning runs, Oregon City managed just six hits across the entire game, while Llamas’ homer was Southridge’s only hit.

In what was a two-sided defensive battle, the Pioneers ultimately emerged victorious despite the late scare, remaining perfect in 2024 as the state’s second-ranked team according to the preseason coaches poll.

Joseph finished with 15 strikeouts, while the Skyhawks’ junior Sloane Swenson struck out five batters on Wednesday.

The Pioneers will be in action again on Friday, March 22, as they host Westview, while Southridge will travel to take on Sherwood the same day.


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