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The Observer Paper 12/17/14

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Sarman a selfless star

Union point guard Keesha Sarman goes up for a shot against Oakland to open the 2A playoffs last season. The Bobcats won by a 75-45 margin, and advanced to the quarterfinals before losing to Western Mennonite, 66-40. (CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)

Sarman aims to play basketball in college 

After finishing her junior year at Union High School, Keesha Sarman will have one more year to star in volleyball, basketball and softball. While Sarman said she loves all three sports, basketball is her potential ticket to a college scholarship and the sport she loves the most. 

Wicklander tosses a no-hitter in 15-0 victory


Tyson Wicklander throws a fastball for the La Grande High School baseball team during a 5-1 win over Tillamook in the OSAA 4A play-in game. Wicklander graduated from La Grande after playing football, basketball and baseball all four years for the Tigers. (CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)

The La Grande Legacy Legends got off to a terrific start to open the Smokey Mountain Invitational in Caldwell, Idaho Thursday, beating Vallivue, Idaho, 15-0 in five innings.

Tyson Wicklander enjoyed a highly efficient performance pitching for the Legacy Legends, throwing a no-hitter with six strikeouts and two walks in the win.

SPORTS BRIEFS: Tennis lesson sign-ups open

Former La Grande High School tennis coach and University of Idaho player Tim Hoffnagle will host tennis lessons on Monday and Thursday nights at 6 p.m. at the La Grande High School tennis courts.

Bean brings his best for the Eastern Oregon Livestock Show

Even though Doug Bean largely performs in rodeos and stock shows for fun, it was tough to tell he wasn’t a professional over the weekend.

LEGION BASEBALL: Legends rally for season-opening win

La Grande spotted Pendleton seven runs before getting to within one run, and a four-run outburst in the bottom of the fifth inning catapulted the Legacy Legends to a 11-10 come-from-behind victory Friday in their opening game of the American Legion season.

CLASS 2A/1A SOFTBALL: Union/Cove repeat as champs

The Union/Cove softball team won its second consecutive Class 2A/1A state championship Friday, squeaking past Bonanza, 2-1, in Corvallis.

Tiger season still a success

La Grande makes OSAA playoffs for first time in four seasons

The La Grande baseball team fell just short of reaching one of its main goals of winning the Greater Oregon League after a doubleheader sweep at the hands of Baker/Powder Valley in the regular-season finale. Despite that however, the Tigers still surpassed pre-season expectations.

It’s all Good for Union/Cove in state semifinal road victory

Sarah Good singles up the middle in the top of the eighth inning Tuesday to drive in the winning runs. (JIM WELCH photo)

The Union/Cove softball team will have the opportunity to defend its OSAA 2A/1A state softball championship after winning a 6-4 thriller over North Douglas/Elkton in eight innings Tuesday.

With a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Lady Cats nearly imploded, committing up two errors that allowed the hosts to tie the game up and force extra innings.

Best Tiger of all-time?

Tyson Wicklander forces out a baserunner at second base and prepares a throw to first to complete a double play for the Tigers during a home game against Baker/Powder Valley.

Wicklander graduates after starring in three sports 

For Tyson Wicklander, the physical cost of lettering as a varsity athlete all four years in three different sports at La Grande high school was a steep one. During his high school career, Wicklander has battled a litany of injuries and ailments, and each time that he’s pushed his body to its physical limit, he can’t help but keep pushing one step further. 

Union/Cove advances to state championship

The Union/Cove softball advanced to the OSAA 1A state championship game today with a 6-4 road victory over North Douglas/Elkton in eight innings.

After giving up two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to force the game into an extra inning, the Lady Cats avoided disaster scoring two runs in the top of the eighth inning, then holding the Warriors scoreless to clinch the victory.

No. 1 seed Weston-McEwen/Griswold suffered a 2-1 upset loss to No. 4 Bonanza in the other semifinal. As a result, the No. 3 Lady Cats will be the home team in the state championship game, which is currently set for a 1 p.m. first pitch in Corvallis. 

For the full story, see Wednesday's edition of The Observer.

CLASS 4A BASEBALL: Tigers season comes to an end in blowout loss

The La Grande baseball team suffered a blowout loss to end the season, falling at North Marion 12-3 in the OSAA 4A quarterfinals.

CLASS 1A SOFTBALL: Union/Cove advances to semis

The Union/Cove softball team advanced to the semifinals of the OSAA Class 1A state tournament with a 5-0 win over Prospect Charter/Butte Falls.

Wright can do no wrong

Union/Cove centerfielder Chelsea Houck successfully lays down the bunt that allowed shortstop Keesha Sarman to score the final run of the game in the sixth inning to beat Regis. The Lady Cats clinched the win as a result of the OSAA’s 10-run mercy rule. (CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)

Lady Cat sophomore goes 3-for-3 at the plate, throws a one-hitter to fuel opening round victory

Throughout each practice leading up to its playoff opener against Regis, Union/Cove head coach Paul Phillips constantly emphasized the importance of scoring early runs to put immediate pressure on the opposition.

Kindra Moore responded, clubbing a two-run home run that bounced off the top of the fence, then over to score. The Lady Cats never looked back and remained in complete control of the entire game at home to win 10-0 in six innings Wednesday. 

Tigers begin playoffs

Tyson Wicklander makes a leaping grab for the Tigers during a regular season game at Pioneer Park. Wicklander was named a first-team all-Greater Oregon League selection along with Tanner Stremcha and Jared Rogers. (CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)

Tigers travel to take on Scappoose Indians

Following an impressive 6-1 victory over Tillamook at Pioneer Park Thursday, the La Grande baseball squad qualified for the state playoffs after losing in the play-in game three consecutive years.

“It does feel like we got a monkey off our back with the win,” La Grande head coach Parker McKinley said.  

Outlaws enter postseason on hot streak

Once his team takes the field, Outlaws head coach Travis Huffman hopes everyone’s butterflies collectively fly away.

Enterprise/Joseph/Wallowa, the No. 7 seed in the 3A playoffs, hosts No. 10 Santiam Christian at Enterprise today at 1:30 p.m. in a first-round matchup.

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