Behind a great pitching performance from Taylor Whaley, McAuley edged Portland 3-2 in a Western Class A softball game Wednesday.

Whaley tossed a complete game, striking out 10. She allowed one earned run and four hits, and walked one.

“I felt really good today knowing that my team had a really good practice yesterday and we were prepared to play. As the game went on I started to feel more confident as we did better,” said Whaley. “I had to stay confident and strong for my team.”

“Taylor looked ‘on’ today. She was hitting her spots, she was throwing hard, and she was just focused. It was good to see that,” said McAuley Coach Dawn Armandi.

Isabelle DiMillo took a tough-luck loss, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits over six innings.

“Both pitchers threw great. It just came down to who made the one play, they made one extra play and that’s the difference in a one-run game,” said Portland Coach Robbie Ferrante.

Ally Tillotson anchored McAuley’s defense at shortstop and enjoyed a good day at the plate, notching two hits, stealing three bases and scoring two runs.

The game was tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. With two outs, McAuley’s Anya Chase rocketed a line drive to right field that took an explosive hop past the outstretched glove of Molly Rickett and scooted deep into the fenceless outfield. Chase’s inside-the-park home run gave McAuley (3-3) the lead.

“One run game, it could have gone either way. A bounce here, a bounce there – (McAuley) got a big bounce there,” said Ferrante.

Chase finished 2 for 3 with a home run and a stolen base.

Portland (2-5) tied the game in the top of the sixth inning on a double by Rickett that scored Morgan Boyle.

McAuley regained the lead in the bottom of the inning when Ashley Littlefield reached on an error that scored Tillotson from third.

Ferrante was McAuley’s coach for the previous five seasons. Wednesday was his first time coaching against his former team.

“We didn’t focus on that too much. Obviously I told them, ‘we’re playing your coach that left you, make a statement.’ It wasn’t the statement we wanted to make but it was a win. We’re just focused on getting wins right now, regardless of who they’re against,” said Armandi.

Ferrante’s familiarity with the McAuley roster helped in developing a sound game plan to attack its hitters.

“I was calling some pitches, which I usually don’t. I usually leave it in my catcher’s hands,” said Ferrante.

“(Ferrante) had his girls (in the outfield) playing deep, so I could see what he was doing, but I think it was more of our girls not being patient enough,” said Armandi.

Portland’s Maddie Kenney tripled and scored a run in the loss.

“Overall, (a) well-played (game). If we played (them) 10 times, I think we’d come out 5-5,” said Ferrante.

Chelsea Rairdon helped with a run-scoring single for McAuley.