RESHUFFLING THE DECK
By Pat Perkins
Observer Staff Writer
One player can make a huge difference.
The La Grande Tigers softball team is finding that out after losing catcher Amanda Mahon to an injury, possibly for the season.
In a game at Lewiston last month, Mahon rounded second and tripped on the base, landing on her wrist and shoulder. The injury is still being diagnosed, and she is out of her sling, but she pretty much knows that her season is over with, according to coach Nicole Christian.
When you lose a catcher, and you think you have a senior catcher whos going to be there the whole year, it hurts, Christian said.
The injury forced Christian to shuffle her lineup, and it hasnt been until recently that the changes have shown results.
Still, the Tigers havent gained any wins since Mahon went down. La Grande (1-8 overall, 0-4 Greater Oregon League) has lost seven-straight games going into todays league doubleheader at Vale.
Christian moved Megan Henderson from center field, where she played last year, to behind the plate.
Megans doing unreal. She threw out four or five of their runners, Christian said after the Riverside games. Their coaches complimented me on her.
Senior Chelsea Long moved from left field to center field, and sometimes pitcher Des McCoy comes out to center. Erin Henjum and Kinsey Chadwick play left field when Long is in center; otherwise, Long takes that spot. Heather Hampton plays right field, and Henjum and Chadwick have played there, too.
The infield has stayed pretty much the same. Kandis Wallace is at third and Lauren Sternfeld, herself coming back from an injury, is at first. Amanda Marcum plays shortstop until she pitches, then Danielle Tams moves over from second base to short. Kylie Lanman then fills in at second.
Marcum, McCoy, Megan Caldwell and even Tams are pitching for La Grande.
Last week La Grande lost to Baker 3-1 and 7-6, and Saturday the Tigers lost to Riverside 9-0 and 3-1. The games were close, and Christian hopes the team can break through today against Vale.
The defending GOL champs playoff hopes depend on that.
We look like were getting closer to our old self.