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La Grande’s Emily Lawrence got the Game 1 victory over Baker Friday, coming in in the fourth inning to relieve Kali Avila. (Observer file photo)
The Observer staff
BAKER CITY — The La Grande softball team split with rival Baker Friday in a Greater Oregon League doubleheader.
The Lady Tigers took Game 1, 8-6, but lost the second game, 6-5, on a seventh-inning walk-off homer.
“Overall, the team did well,” LHS head coach Kevin Kohr said. “The girls are learning, growing. They just need to stay focused on what they can control.”
LHS jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second inning of the opener.
The Lady Tigers led 5-3 when Baker scored three runs in the fourth inning to take a 6-5 lead.
But La Grande tied the game with a two-run fifth inning and took the lead with a run in the sixth.
That was enough cushion for pitcher Emily Lawrence, who held the Bulldogs the rest of the way.
Auslin McDaniel had three hits, including a pair of doubles in the win, while Madison Elliott added three hits. Avery Albrecht finished with two hits.
Sierra Howerton, Abi Smith and Darion Grove all hit home runs for Baker.
LHS outhit the Bulldogs 15-10.
“We played good defense that game,” Kohr said. “We turned some double plays. Both pitchers (Kali Avila and Lawrence) had good performances, good control.”
Game 2 was another tight contest.
La Grande held a 3-2 lead when the Bulldogs scored two runs in the fourth to take a 4-3 lead. Baker added another run in the fifth.
La Grande tied the game in the sixth inning before a 20-minute rain delay killed the Lady Tigers momentum.
That led to a walk-off home run by Grover in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift the Bulldogs to victory.
“That was a tough game for us,” Kohr said. “We stranded 12 runners. We just hit the ball right at people.”
La Grande is now 6-6 overall and 3-3 in the GOL.
Baker is 6-10 overall and 3-3 in league.
The Lady Tigers will travel to Milton-Freewater Friday for a showdown with third-ranked McLoughlin.
The Pioneers are 13-4 overall and atop the GOL with a 4-0 record.