TIGARD – Two years ago, when Makenna Reid stepped into the circle for Tigard's softball team, she was a green freshman who had yet to develop an assortment of pitches.
This week, the junior left-hander showed that she has come a long way, using a devastating arsenal to lead the Tigers to three wins to start the season.
Reid delivered with her latest gem Friday against visiting Westview, tossing a one-hitter with 11 strikeouts and two walks to outduel Wildcats senior Julia Jordan 2-0 in a 6A nonleague game.
“I got a curve and a rise, and I've been dominating on those two pitches,” said Reid, who has committed to North Carolina State. “My freshman year I would just throw a fastball or a high fastball, but now it's like a real rise, real curve. It's a different look for everyone that sees me. They're not expecting it.”
In 20 innings this week, Reid allowed two runs, struck out 42 and walked two. Her performance Friday came after she threw a no-hitter with 15 strikeouts in a 15-0 win at Oregon City on Wednesday.
“It's a good privilege to catch her,” sophomore catcher Karen Spadafora said. “It's her will to win for everyone, not just for herself. She just wants to do it for everyone.”
Tigard coach Pete Kostel likes how Reid is competing.
“Just picking up her teammates, engaging her teammates, and being a leader outside of the circle, as well,” Kostel said.
The Tigers, who scored 24 runs in beating Mountainside and Oregon City, managed only two runs and two hits off Jordan. Fortunately for them, one of the hits was a two-run blast to left-center field by Spadafora in the first inning.
It was the second home run of the week for Spadafora, who missed out on her freshman season but is making up for lost time, going 6 of 8 with seven RBIs in her first three games.
“It's a great experience,” Spadafora said. “I've been waiting for it for a long time. My sister Hannah played for them, too, and I get to wear her number, so that's really nice.”
Kostel sees vast potential in the 5-foot-11 Spadafora.
“The sky is the limit with her, and the opportunities she's going to have, as long as she keeps working,” Kostel said.
Westview (1-1), which defeated perennial state power Tualatin 5-0 on Monday, never hit the ball out of the infield against Reid. The Wildcats' only hit came when senior Emma Antich singled off the glove of junior third baseman Kani Korok with one out in the sixth inning.
Jordan, who threw six shutout innings against Tualatin, held the Tigers in check after giving up the home run to Spadafora. The left-hander benefited from three double plays, two of them started by the Cornell-bound Antich at shortstop.
Westview coach Ronda McKenzie wished she had one major do-over.
“I should have walked that No. 4 batter in the first inning. We had first base open,” said McKenzie, who did walk Spadafora with first base open in the sixth inning.
McKenzie liked how Jordan bounced back after the first inning. The first week was encouraging for Jordan considering she has been dealing with back issues for the past two years.
“She's just right now getting back into the groove,” McKenzie said of Jordan, who has committed to pitch in college for Academy of Art in San Francisco. “So I was really proud of her. That's the most she's pitched in a couple years.”
The game was played at a high level despite coming in the first week after the long layoff. The win fuels the confidence of the Tigers, who lost at Westview 11-1 in a nonleague game in 2019.
“I feel like if there was a state championship, we would be there at the final,” Reid said. “I feel like we have a lot of hitting, we have pitching, we have defense. We just all bonded really well together.”