April 08, 2001 11:00 pm
CONNECTION: Eastern's Katelyn Tatum went after this pitch Sunday against Central Washington. (The Observer/PAT PERKINS).
CONNECTION: Eastern's Katelyn Tatum went after this pitch Sunday against Central Washington. (The Observer/PAT PERKINS).

By Pat Perkins

Observer Staff Writer

Better defense and better offense salvaged the second game of Saturdays doubleheader for the Eastern Oregon Mountaineers softball team.

After committing five errors in a six-run Central Washington sixth inning in the first game, the Mountaineers had just one error in the second game and came away with a 5-4 victory.

Central won the first game 10-5, surviving a five-run Mountaineer outburst in the bottom of the sixth.

Our defense was a lot better in the second game, Eastern Oregon coach Anji Weissenfluh said. And we mixed up our lineup in the second game to get more offense.

In the first game, Eastern (14-14) had just one hit against Central Washington starter Stephanie Hogan through five innings. But the sixth inning started with four straight hits, and they carried that over into the second game, Weissenfluh said. We executed better. We hit the ball hard.

Easterns Crissie Bacon was 2-for-3 with two RBIs in the second game, including a suicide squeeze bunt that scored Tara Pichette in the first inning. Bacon also drove home Pichette in the third inning on a play in which Majalise Watson scored on an error to give Eastern a 3-2 lead.

Pichette and Watson drove home runs in the fourth. Pichette was 3-for-4.

Jayne-Leigh Thomas got her eighth win of the season despite giving up 10 hits and four walks in seven innings.

Central Washington (14-15) scored five unearned runs in the sixth inning four different Mountaineers committed the five errors.

We just threw the ball around too much, Weissenfluh said. We just mishandled it, just didnt play good team defense at all.

But the offense woke up in the bottom half of the frame, with Pichette leading off with a double.

Watson and Bacon followed with singles, Bacons scoring Pichette, and Tiffany Niemeyers double scored Watson. Central Washington left fielder Kelly Reed then dropped JoElle Kaatzs fly ball, allowing Bacon to score. Tamie Parker walked with the bases loaded to force another run home, and Missy Bonannos single scored the fifth run.

Bonanno was 2-for-3 in the first game.

Former La Grande High School player Annie Franks went 1-for-4 with an RBI in the first game and 0-for-2 in the second game.

The doubleheader marked the end of Easterns preseason. The Mountaineers begin their Cascade Collegiate Conference season Friday with a single game against Concordia in Portland, then a doubleheader against the Cavs on Saturday.

Central Washington 102 006 1 10 13 2

Eastern Oregon 000 005 0 5 6 5

Hogan, Ochoa (6) and Kamieniecki; Curry, JLThomas (7) and Bonanno. WP Hogan (4-5). LP Curry (6-8).

Eastern Oregon hits Pichette, Watson, Bacon, Niemeyer, Bonanno 2. 2B Pichette, Niemeyer. RBI Bacon, Niemeyer, Kaatz, Parker, Bonanno.

Central Washington 110 001 1 4 10 1

Eastern Oregon 103 200 x 5 9 1

Ochoa, Lloyd (4) and Lantau; JLThomas and Bonanno. WP JLThomas (8-5). LP Ochoa (4-4).

Eastern Oregon hits Pichette 3, Watson, Bacon 2, Kaatz, Bonanno, Burk. 2B Pichette, Burk. RBI Pichette, Watson, Bacon 2.