April 01, 2003 11:00 pm

ISLAND CITY — The La Grande Tigers beat No.9-ranked 4A Hermiston 4-2 in the first game of a doubleheader Tuesday before falling in the second game 5-0.

"We're looking real good," La Grande coach Nicole Christian said. "We're still testing people out" at various positions.

The Tigers were unable to sustain their momentum from the first game into the nightcap. They managed just one hit from Amanda Marcum in the second game.

After the doubleheader, Christian told the Tigers that they cannot afford to lose any more home games from here on out.

They host Pendleton at 3 p.m. Thursday before opening Greater Oregon League play at Riverside April 8.

Christian added that the starting nine need to bust their butts or find themselves not playing.

"Besides that, we're coming along," she said. "The errors today can be fixed."

Hermiston took the Tigers out of the second game early by scoring three runs in the first inning.

Christian said the Tigers had three double plays, with Danielle Tams in the middle of two of them.

She said Des McCoy did an excellent job pitching for her first time out this season, and Megan Caldwell threw about the same number of strikeouts and walks.

Christian said Krystal Gore played a strong game at third base.

— Raenelle Kwock

Hermiston 2 2 1

La Grande 4 4 2

Haertling and Iverson; Caldwell and Henderson.

La Grande hits — McCoy, Henderson, Caldwell, Griffin. 3B — Henderson. RBI — McCoy, Henderson, Gore, Griffin. SB — Caldwell.

Hermiston 310 100 0 — 5 3 2

La Grande 000 000 0 — 0 1 2

Haertling and Iverson; Wolford, McCoy (4) and Henderson.

La Grande hits — Marcum.