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La Grandeís Emily Lawrence delivers a pitch during the Lady Tigersí 12-1 loss to Pendleton Thursday. Casey Kellas/The Observer
by Casey Kellas/The Observer
The La Grande softball team ran into the top-ranked 5A team in the state Thursday, and the Lady Tigers came out on the wrong end of a 12-1 decision in the non-league contest.
The loss drops LHS to 3-4 on the season, while Pendleton improves to 9-3.
“Pendletion is a good team. You can’t take anything away from them,” LHS head coach Kevin Kohr said. “They hit the ball. Our girls never gave up, they kept trying. They got a lot of heart.”
Just two days after getting swept by McLoughlin in an outing where the La Grande pitchers struggled to locate their pitches, the Lady Tigers looked more in control on Thursday.
But the Buckaroos brought their big bats to the ballpark and were able to get to starter Emily Lawrence early.
A Kasidee Lemberger two-run single in the first inning got Pendleton on the board. Lemberger eventually came home to score before RBI singles by Ellie Richards and Alexis Morrison made the score 5-0 in favor of the visitors.
Not only did the Lady Tigers get in an early hole, they also lost shortstop Madison Elliott to an injury in the first inning, stretching an already thin roster due to the state FBLA competition even thinner.
“Maddy going out in the first inning there, that changed things around,” Kohr said.
Pendleton kept the bats hot in the second inning, as Darian Lindsey led the inning off with a triple before scoring on a bunt single by Shea Lindsey. After an RBI double by Rayne Spencer and a two-run double by Evangelina Olivera made it a 9-0 lead, Reeghan Lehnert blasted a two-run home run over the center-field fence to stretch the lead to 11-0.
The Bucks added one more run in the fourth
La Grande threatened to extend the game in the fifth, getting on the board on an RBI single by Brandi Blackman, but the Lady Tigers left the bases loaded and the game came to an end due to the 10-run rule.
“The girls kept trying. We come around there the last inning with the bases loaded, they’re still trying,” Kohr said. “We get the injuries taken care of here and get all the kids back, we’ll gear up (for Ontario next week).”
Lawrence and Blackman both finished 2-for-3, while Elyse Humphreys, Olivia Trotter and Kendall Kirkland all added hits for La Grande.
Lawrence took the loss and had one strikeout, while Marissa Carson struck out two in four innings of relief work. Richards picked up the win for Pendleton, going all five innings and striking out five.
The Lady Tigers have the weekend off and don’t return to action until playing host to Ontario April 13 starting at 1:30 p.m.