WARRENTON - Sunset was officially 6:21 p.m. Tuesday night - or about 15 minutes before Seaside and Warrenton finished off their nonleague season-opening softball game at Warrenton City Park.

The Gulls and Warriors put on a battle, but the darkness ultimately won, as the contest was ended in the top of the seventh inning with a 5-5 tie on the scoreboard.

Seaside had scored two runs in the top of the seventh, but because the game was called in the top half of the inning, the score reverted to the 5-5 tie at the start of the seventh.

Both coaches were pleased with certain aspects of the game, but with a combined 18 walks and 18 runners left on base, both also know there's work to be done.

One day after suffering a narrow 4-2 loss to Class 4A Liberty, the Gulls had all they could handle with the Warriors.

"It was a big difference between yesterday and today," said Seaside coach Tom Mauldin. "Against a high-quality 4A team, your nerves are different; and we came in here against a 2A team, figuring it would be a lot easier.

"It wasn't," he said. "Warrenton always gets pumped up for us. We're the big dog they want."

Warrenton coach Staci Miethe said, "It was a long seven innings. But I'm very happy and surprised with the way we played. I told my players, 'I have to be honest - I didn't expect what I saw today.' I was pleasantly surprised."

Warrenton scored the game's first run in the bottom of the second, with Sarah Kelley scoring on a sacrifice fly from Elise Balensifer.

The Gulls tied it in the top of the third as Lynzee Johnson sprinted home on Ilsa McEwan's double.

Seaside tacked on three runs in the top of the fifth, taking advantage of three walks and singles by Brenna Archibald and Jackie Bermingham.

The Warriors drew four walks in the bottom of the fifth, and Anderson's single to center scored Pam Wilkins, but Whitney Johnson was thrown out at the plate by Lynzee Johnson to end the inning.

The Gulls grabbed a 5-2 lead with one run in the sixth, courtesy of three walks and an error.

In what turned out to be their final at-bat, the Warriors tied the game with three runs in the bottom of the inning.

Kelley was hit by a pitch to lead off and scored on an error, and the Warriors loaded the bases with one out after Audrey Dove was hit by a pitch.

Pam Wood scored on an infield single by Johnson, and Balensifer scored the game-tying run on a passed ball.

The Gulls had scored two runs in the top of the seventh with no outs when the game was called.

Balensifer went the distance on the mound for Warrenton and allowed four hits with three strikeouts and nine walks in the Warriors' first game of the post-Stacey Moore era.

"Elise did pretty well," Miethe said. "She kept the hits down and kept her control. She started getting cold in the fifth and sixth inning and that slowed her down a little. But she did a great job and Pam (Wood) did a great job behind the plate."

McEwan allowed four Warrenton hits, with eight strikeouts and nine walks. Anderson and Johnson both had two singles for the Warriors.

"If this was a league game I would have been very disappointed," Mauldin said. "Like (Monday, in the loss at Liberty), if we make the plays, we win the ball game, but we didn't make the plays.

"But it's preseason, and it just lets us know we've got a lot of work to do. We've got three days to worry about it, then we have the doubleheader with North Marion (Monday) and head to the La Pine tournament (March 24-26)."

Warrenton hosts Marshall Thursday.

Roosevelt 15, Astoria 5PORTLAND - Roosevelt scored five runs each in the first two innings, on its way to a 15-5 win over Astoria in a nonleague softball game Tuesday.

The Fishermen committed five errors, but still managed seven hits off Roosevelt pitcher Allison Griffiths. Kim Russell had a triple and two singles for Astoria, and Kristen Saulsbury added a double.

Astoria pitcher Alex Hillard gave up nine hits and six walks with two strikeouts in five innings.

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