EASTERN WOMEN SWEEP ALBERTSON
By Pierre LaBossire
Observer Staff Writer
The Eastern Oregon softball women rode a clutch two-out, bases-loaded seventh inning hit and a four-hit shutout to sweep Albertson Friday.
Eastern beat Albertson 5-4 and 4-0 to go 5-3 in the Cascade Collegiate Conference (17-10 overall), staying very much in the playoff hunt. Southern Oregon and Oregon Tech each have three league losses and were tied for first place as of press deadline, so Eastern is right on the heels of the frontrunners.
The two games were very different, with Eastern struggling a bit in game one, and dominating game two behind the pitching of Jayne-Leigh Thomas.
"We got off to a rocky start in the first game. We weren't crisp, but we worked through it," said coach Anji Weissenfluh.
Eastern got ahead 4-1 thanks to a two-run double by Casi Reisenauer, but Albertson came back to tie the game 4-4 by scoring two runs in the fifth and another run in the sixth.
In the bottom of the seventh, Eastern loaded the bases on an Albertson error and two walks.
Freshman second baseman Heather Tandberg came up with two outs and worked the count to 3-and-2. She hit a foul popup that looked like the third out of the inning, but it barely cleared the right field fence.
On the next pitch, Tandberg promptly singled up the middle to drive in the winning run.
"I hadn't been hitting all game. It came right at the right time," said Tandberg.
Tandberg said she had gotten some game-winning hits in high school in Milwaukie, but this was her first chance to be a hero post-secondary.
"It felt good to do it in college, too," she said.
Kathy Bielemeier gave up 11 hits, but kept the damage to a minimum and picked up the win to go 9-4 on the season.
In the second game, Thomas was the story. She threw strikes, not walking a single batter, and kept the 'Yotes off-balance all game, pulling the string on a wicked change-up time and again.
"The change-up is her bread-and-butter," said Weissenfluh. "We used it to death today."
Reisenauer picked up three more hits to go 5-for-7 on the day. She scored two runs and drove in a third.
Eastern next plays April 26 at Southern Oregon.
Albertson 001 201 0 4 11 3
Eastern 004 000 1 5 8 1
Glenn and Mathews; Bielemeier and Fullmer. WP Bielemeier (9-4). LP Glenn (8-7).
Eastern hits Reisenauer 2, Reardon, Tandberg, Stalwick, Brock, Bielemeier. 2B Reisenauer. RBI Reisenauer 2, Reardon, Tandberg.
Albertson 000 000 0 0 4 4
Eastern 101 101 x 4 9 0
Glenn, Wasko (4) and Mathews; Thomas and Fullmer. WP Thomas (8-6). LP Glenn (8-8).
Eastern hits Reisenauer 3, Bielemeier 2, Reardon 2, Fullmer, Tandberg. RBI Reisenauer, Hull, Fullmer.