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The Observer paper 02/12/16

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Ludwig leads Huskies

CAUGHT RED-HANDED: Elgin’s G.D. Clark applies the tag at third base to nab a would-be base stealer. The Observer/PAUL HARDER
ELGIN — Despite the train running off the track before the game started, Elgin finished its doubleheader feeling confident.

However, third baseman Wes Burgess didn’t quite feel the same way.

Burgess was scratched from the starting line-up during batting practice.

Despite hot bats, Tigers split

CLASSIC CAR: Tigers starter Richie Carmichael struck out seven batters through five innings in game one Saturday. The Observer/BRUCE MASON
At one point during this doubleheader, Phil Lynott echoed across the Pioneer Park speakers, singing his 1976 Irish hard-rock tune, “The Boys are Back in Town.”

The boys are back in town? 

The bats are back in town.

A dozen La Grande runs in the opener. Nine more in the sequel. Twenty hits on the day.

But through all the at-bats, all the hits and all the scoring, here were the Tigers, walking off the diamond with a split, not a sweep.


Outlaws' Baird beats field and wind

MILTON-FREEWATER —  Wind made The Carnival of Speed at little slower Friday.

The invitational hosted by Mac-Hi featured consistent 20 mph winds.

“It made for a tough day,” Elgin head coach Chad Peck said. “At least we got to get out and compete. We haven’t been able to work outside too much, so it was good for the kids to get out of the gym and onto the track.”

Megan Jarrell tossed a personal best 38 feet, 2 1/2 inches to take first place in the shot put.

Huskies undergo baptism by snow

Tara Ludwig picked up the win in Game 1 by recording 13 strikeouts in seven innings. - Observer photos/PAUL HARDER
ELGIN — Welcome to Class 3A softball, Elgin/Imbler.

The Class 2A defending state champion Huskies embarked on the journey through Class 3A by sinking the Vikings in an ominous doubleheader 5-4 and 11-1 Friday.

“Anytime you can start out the league schedule 2-0 it’s a good thing,” Elgin/Imbler head coach Dick Griffin said. “We’re going to see a higher level of competition here, so this is a great way to begin.”

Thunder clapped as the first pitch of Game 1 was slung by sophomore Tara Ludwig. 

Tigers handle wet and windy Milton-Freewater

MILTON-FREEWATER — With a fifty-fifty chance, La Grande came out on top.

The Tigers girls golf team navigated a wet and windy par-60-course to shoot a team score of 390 — good enough for first place.

Baker the only other full team, took second with a 391.

Platz ties all-time EOU homer mark

ASHLAND — EOU split its doubleheader affair at Southern Oregon Friday, setting up a three-way tie in the middle of the conference standings.

The Mounties fell behind in the opener, rallied, but lost 11-10 in eight innings. They rebounded in the night cap with a 5-2 win.

Leading the way at the plate was Megan “long ball” Platz, who hit two more home runs in the doubleheader, pushing her season total to 10 dingers, tying Beth Hull for the all-time EOU season mark.

Elk-friendly fence

Three elk crossings have gone up along a cattle fence on Foothill Road. The crossings were installed at places where there is heavy elk traffic. - The Observer/DICK MASON
A fence along Foothill Road that elk find daunting may soon seem like a mere speed bump to the animals.

Three wooden crossings have been put in by Friends of Ladd Marsh in portions of a .75-mile private cattle fence along the west side of Foothill Road. The 30-inch-high crossings are about 18 inches lower than the fence and much easier for elk to get over. The crossings are also high enough to discourage cattle from escaping.

Eddie Miguez, supervisor of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Ladd Marsh, Elkhorn and Wenaha wildlife areas, is optimistic about the crossings. He has seen similar ones work effectively for elk near the Oregon coast in the Jewell area.

Bobcats batter Spartans' pitching

BOBCAT BARRAGE: Cody Billman and his Union teammates scored 31 runs during a doubleheader against Pine Eagle Thursday. - Observer photos/PAUL HARDER
UNION — When some people see an opportunity they take it.

Union did just that against Pine Eagle during a twin bill sweep 24-3, 17-0 Thursday.

The Spartans pitching doled out free gifts to their hosts — eight walks and two hit batsmen in the first two innings.

Huskies pound out win against Bulldogs

BAKER — First game back from spring break, no problem.

Elgin crushed the Baker junior varsity baseball team Tuesday, 20-4 in six innings, improving to 4-0 overall.

James Hardy earned the win on the mound, and the Huskies’ bats swatted 15 hits.

Leading the way were Dalton Moore (two triples, double), Dillan Moore (two doubles), Travis Ludwig (double) and Jared Harris (double).

Tigers looking to pounce

DIGGING FOR DIAMONDS: The La Grande softball team will look to improve on its 3-9 Greater Oregon League record from 2007. Boo Christman (above) will lead the team from the pitching circle. - Observer file photo
The second time’s a charm — at least that’s what La Grande head coach Kevin Kohr is hoping for.

In Kohr’s first year at the Tigers’ helm, his team won three Greater Oregon League games.

La Grande went 10-16 overall last season and 3-9 in the GOL.

“We’re going to make a playoff run this year,” Kohr said. “Our girls are going to surprise some teams. All it’s going to take is a little more sun and more time on the dirt.”

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