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La Grande catcher Elyse Humphreys tags out La Salle Prepís Makenzie Cook at the plate in the first inning of the Lady Tigersí 5-3 victory Thursday at Sam Marcum Field. (Casey Kellas/The Observer)
Lady Tigers edge La Salle Prep in softball play-in game, advance to first round
The La Grande softball team got a solid outing by Kali Avila and the offense came through with a four-run first inning to help propel the Lady Tigers past La Salle Prep, 5-3, Thursday in a play-in game at Sam Marcum Field.
La Grande will now wait and see who and where it plays its first-round playoff game.
“That’s a good win,” LHS head coach Kevin Kohr said. “We got a great pitching performance by both pitchers. First inning, we got on the sticks and hit the ball good.”
The Falcons got on the board with a two-run first inning off of Avila.
An Ellie Mulvaney line drive that went off the glove of Avery Albrecht in right field led to a run, before a Loryn Williams ground ball brought across a run to make it 2-0.
“I was a little nervous. It’s a big game,” Avila said of her first-inning struggles.
But Avila was able to help herself out at the plate in the bottom of the first inning.
After Denise Comfort and Albrecht scored runs on wild pitches by Williams, Avila came through with a two-run single to put the Lady Tigers in front, 4-2.
“That was awesome. That was good,” Avila said.
From there, the freshman kept the Falcons quiet at the plate.
“After the first two innings, I was good,” she said.
Albrecht led off the fifth inning with a solo home run to left field to stretch the Lady Tigers’ lead to 5-2.
“I was just thinking to get contact and get on base for my team,” Albrecht said. “It went off the sweet spot, that’s for sure.”
Her coach was impressed by the swing.
“Avery gets up — we talked to her for a minute about keeping her nose on the ball and extending through —and she did a great job,” Kohr said.
Kohr went to Emily Lawrence at pitcher for the final two innings, and La Salle Prep was able to threaten in the top of the seventh.
After a two-out single by Sydney Chvilicek, Williams reached base on an error by the third baseman.
Channon Stockfleth then came through with a single to left field that scored Chvilicek, but La Grande’s Madison Elliott was able to throw Williams out at home plate to end the game.
“Madison came up with a great throw there at home plate to shut things down,” Kohr said.
Avila pitched five innings, striking out two.
Comfort, Albrecht, Avila, Elyse Humphrys, Olivia Trotter, Auslin McDaniel and Lawrence all came up with hits for LHS.
Williams went the distance, striking out three while taking the loss for
The Lady Tigers have won six of their last seven games.
La Grande will now wait and see how the rest of the play-in games go before learning who they play next.
“The girls are working hard. As long as we stay focused, we’re going to be in great shape,” Kohr said. “Their confidence level is getting there. We’ve had this talk as a team, as long as we play focused softball, we can play with anybody.”