RIVERSIDE SWEEPS LA GRANDE SOFTBALL
Observer Staff Writer
The La Grande softball girls had their chances to knock down first-place Riverside, but one big Pirate inning and a lack of timely Tiger hits cost them Thursday.
The losses mean La Grande (6-6 in Greater Oregon League) probably will not win the GOL title, but the Tigers remain in third, very much in control of their playoff destiny.
La Grande was beaten 6-2 in game 1 and 3-1 in game 2 by the No. 5-ranked team in the state The Tigers managed five hits on the day against Riverside's Erica Hancock.
"We didn't have a good day. When you play a great team, it takes 14 people to show up," said coach Nicole Christian.
While La Grande had trouble coming up with the big hit, Riverside's hits couldn't have been more timely.
Riverside, which only had five hits for the entire first game, loaded the bases in the fourth inning on a hit and two walks, then got a clutch base-clearing hit to center to take a 3-1 lead. The Pirates followed up with a two-run single to take a 5-1 lead. A couple of errors in the inning helped the Pirates.
La Grande threatened to get right back in the game in the bottom of the inning. Des McCoy and Meghan Henderson led off with hits, and McCoy scored on a throwing error. But with Henderson on third and one out, the Tigers weren't able to drive in any more runs and the rally stalled with La Grande still down 5-2.
Again in the sixth, Amanda Marcum walked and Henderson got a single, but La Grande wasn't able to knock in either base runner.
Henderson got two hits in the game, while McCoy had a hit.
In the second game, La Grande had two hits, by McCoy and Henderson again.
Megan Caldwell did most of the pitching on the day (Amanda Marcum pitched in relief in game 2), and both hurlers pitched well enough to win. Riverside's Hancock was just better on this day. Marcum also had a spectacular diving catch at shortstop that likely saved a run.
Riverside is 12-2 in league, while Baker is 11-3. La Grande is in solid shape for the final playoff slot, but needs to keep winning to keep Ontario and Mac-Hi at bay.
"We have things to work on. We gotta make some adjustments," said Christian.
La Grande plays at Vale Saturday.
Riverside 000 510 0 ┬Ś 6 5 2
La Grande 010 100 0 ┬Ś 2 3 3
Hancock and Potter; Caldwell and Henderson. WP ┬Ś Hancock. LP ┬ŚCaldwell.
La Grande hits ┬Ś Henderson 2, McCoy.
Riverside 101 010 0 ┬Ś 3 7 1
La Grande 010 000 0 ┬Ś 1 2 2
Hancock and Potter; Caldwell, Marcum and Henderson. WP ┬Ś Hancock. LP ┬Ś Caldwell.
La Grande hits ┬Ś McCoy, Henderson.