ERRORS PLAGUE LHS IN HOME OPENER
By Pat Perkins
Observer Staff Writer
ISLAND CITY One score sheet said seven errors. Another said 12.
Either way, the La Grande Tigers made too many mistakes Thursday in their 14-4 non-league softball loss to Pendleton at the LDS Church Field.
We had miscommunication in the infield, routine fly balls were dropped, La Grande coach Nicole Christian said.
The errors contributed to most of Pendletons runs, and the Bucks benefited from timely hits with runners on base. Pendleton scored 10 runs in the final three innings and ended the game after six because of the 10-run mercy rule.
Christian said the team had a long practice Wednesday and worked on routine plays, but more changes in practice are in store.
Even more worrisome is that Thursdays game ended La Grandes preseason. La Grande also lost to Pendleton 7-0 on March 15, so the Tigers have only 13 innings preparation before the April 5 Greater Oregon League opener against Vale.
I wish we could get more games in before we start league, Christian said.
There was improvement offensively after the first game against Pendleton. The Tigers only had five hits, but they put the ball in play and got a clutch hit from Amanda Marcum in the fifth inning. Amanda Mahon sacrificed Kylie Lanman and Stephanie Kirkeby to second and third, then Marcum drove them home with a single up the middle.
Marcums ground ball also scored a run in the third inning.
Kandis Wallace was 2-for-2 for the Tigers. Cappie Smith hit 4-for-5 for Pendleton.
Pendleton 310 433 14 15 1
La Grande 011 020 5 5 7
Roberts, Kinnaman (6) and Quesenberry; Caldwell, McCoy (4) and Kirkeby. WP Roberts. LP Caldwell (0-2).
La Grande hits Kirkeby, Marcum, Henderson, Wallace 2. RBI Marcum 3, Wallace.
LHS beats Sisters 10-9
JOHN DAY La Grande got its hits when they counted and won its first baseball game of the season Thursday afternoon.
The Tigers held off a two-out rally by Sisters in the bottom of the seventh inning and won 10-9 at Grant Union High Schools Spring Baseball Tournament.
La Grande led from start to finish, but Sisters scored seven runs in the final three innings to make it interesting.
Adam Kleck scored what turned into the winning run in the top of the seventh. He led off with a single to right field, advanced to second on a wild pitch, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on another passed ball.
Kleck had a sacrifice bunt in the third inning that moved runners to second and third, runners who would score on a Shane Slover single. Kleck also made a diving catch that ended Sisters fifth inning.
The ball was hit into left field and Tanner Abel lost it in the sun, La Grande coach Dennis Young said. Adam came all the way over from center field and made a diving catch at the base of the fence to end the inning.
His sacrifice bunt, people dont think its really important, but he moved runners up and our guys got hits, Young added.
A double by Drew Fischer and a single by Andy Van Sickle scored runs in the first inning, which also saw Fischer score on a wild pitch.
La Grande got four runs in the third on Slovers two-run single and another two-run single from Jason Smith.
In the sixth, Fischer doubled again, bringing home a run, and he scored again on a passed ball.
Meanwhile, La Grande pitcher Corey Royal got the final two outs of the sixth inning and the first two outs of the seventh before Sisters rallied. Royal walked a batter, then Sisters strung together four hits and scored three runs to cut La Grandes lead to 10-9.
Royal hit a batter to load the bases before slugger Pat Burke came to the plate.
He had hit a home run in the first inning that scored two runs, and crushed the ball two previous times, Young said.
Royal struck him out on a 2-2 count.
Kyle Ingerson pitched five innings before running out of gas in the sixth, the coach said. Zach Glasser pitched part of the sixth but soon gave way to Royal.
Fischer, Van Sickle and Preston Roe all had two hits for the Tigers, who played Rainier this morning.
In the tournaments other game Thursday, Grant Union beat Sisters 9-1.
Also today, Sisters plays Molalla and Grant Union hosts Molalla. On Saturday, La Grande plays Molalla, Sisters meets Rainier and Grant Union plays Rainier.
La Grande 304 002 1 10 10 3
Sisters 200 013 3 9 9 3
Ingerson, Glasser (6), Royal (6) and Slover; Hooey, Burke (4) and Burke, Taylor (4). WP Ingerson. LP Hooey. Sv Royal (1).
La Grande hits Roe 2, Fischer 2, Van Sickle 2, Smith, Abel, Kleck, Slover. 2B Fischer 2. RBI Smith 2, Fischer 2, Slover 2, Van Sickle.