La Grande third baseman Kori Clipfell waits for the ball as McLoughlin’s Meghan Kimball slides in safely. The Pioneers swept La Grande 7-1 and 18-0. Casey Kellas/The Observer
by Casey Kellas/The Observer
The La Grande softball team didn’t have its best day Tuesday in Greater Oregon League play against McLoughlin. The Lady Tigers (3-4, 0-2) got swept by the visiting Pioneers (11-3, 2-0), falling in the opener, 7-1, before getting routed in the second game, 18-0.
“Our pitching struggled today, we couldn’t get strikes,” LHS head coach Kevin Kohr said. “And our bats fell asleep. We hit the ball hard a couple times, but right at them. It’s a night-and-day difference from how we played a couple of days ago.”
La Grande fell into a 2-0 hole in the second inning of Game 1 after an RBI single by Meghan Kimball and an RBI groundout by Stefanie Copeland.
An RBI double by Karli Cortez followed by a two-run single by Megan Reed in the fifth inning stretched the Pioneers’ lead to 5-0. The Lady Tigers cut into the lead with a run in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI groundout by Avery Albrech, but the McLoughlin added to the lead with a two-run seventh and LHS couldn’t overtake the lead.
La Grande got outhit 10-6 in the loss, with Colette Roberts getting the win and Emily Lawrence taking the loss.
The nightcap turned into one La Grande will want to get over in a hurry.
Mac-Hi took advantage of a multitude of walks and was able to capitalize with timely hits to pile on the runs on three different LHS pitchers.
The Pioneers scored three runs in the first, seven in the third and added five more in the fourth. A three-run fifth inning was the end of the damage.
“The walks kill,” Kohr said. “The pitchers got to be prepared to come out there. They got to be warmed up and mentally prepared.”
Brandi Blackman had two of the Lady Tigers’ three hits, including a triple.
Reed finished 3-for-5 with six RBIs for the Pioneers.
“It’s a wake-up call, that’s about all you can say,” Kohr said. “They didn’t quit. They kept the energy level up. But it’s a tough one. We’re going to take this, we’re going to learn from it and leave it in the past. We can’t dwell on it, you gotta leave it out there.”
La Grande will be back in action Thursday when it hosts Pendleton (9-3) in a non-league contest.
First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.