May 16, 2003 11:00 pm

By Raenelle Kwock

Observer Staff Writer

UNION — A whole lot of heart. The final home regular season doubleheader for the Union softball girls boiled down to that Friday afternoon.

The Bobcats beat Nyssa 7-1 in game 1, then rallied before falling 13-10 in eight innings in game 2.

The Bobcats and Bulldogs remain tied for second place in the Eastern Oregon League with 9-5 records. Pine-Eagle (11-3) travels to Nyssa today, while the Bobcats play at Weston-McEwen.

Pine-Eagle defeated Elgin by scores of 13-8, 20-4 Friday.

Two teams head to the district softball tournament next Saturday at Eastern Oregon University.

Pine-Eagle has one spot. The second spot is up for grabs between Nyssa and Union.

"We came out of it just as well as we went into it," Union coach Steve Robertson said.

The Bobcats dominated game 1, with Jennifer Sasser pitching a three-hitter.

"Sasser had her best game of the year," coach Robertson said. "Colbi (Robertson) and Kallin (Prince) in the outfield did a great job."

"We hit the ball aggressively all through the line-up," Robertson said. "We did a lot of great things."

Game 2, while a loss, showed the heart of the Bobcats.

"In the second game, we dug a hole," Robertson said. "The girls were not quitting. We kept battling back and put ourselves in a position to win it."

The Bobcats trailed 7-2 before scoring three runs to pull within 7-5 in the bottom of the fourth. Robertson made a pitching change in the fifth.

"Kallin came in and shut them down for two innings," he said. "We got right back into it."

In the bottom of the sixth, the Bobcats scored four runs to take the lead at 9-8.

April Savely got on base off an error. Robertson and Jana Brotherton hit back-to-back doubles, then DeeAnna Hall and Jaycee Waite got on base on errors. Melissa Helmer got a hit to close out the frame.

In the top of the seventh, the Bulldogs tied the game at 9-9. The Bulldogs shut out the Bobcats in the bottom of the frame to force extra innings.

The Bulldogs got four runs in the eighth off back-to-back doubles and a single.

In the bottom of the eighth, Lena Weitlauf's double drove in a run to cut the deficit to 13-10. It was the closest the Bobcats would get.

"Down 7-2, they could have rolled over," Robertson said. "It was the best job of battling back we've ever had."

Nyssa 000 001 0 — 1 3 5

Union 101 104 x — 7 8 3

Hittle and Hartley; Sasser and Waite. WP — Sasser. LP — Hittle.

Union hits — Helmer, Prince, Savely 2, Robertson 2, Hall, Sasser, Weitlauf. 2B — Savely. RBI — Savely 3, Sasser.

Nyssa 032 201 14 — 13 (16) 6

Union 101 304 01 — 10 (11) 3

Hittle and Hartley; Sasser, Prince (5), Collins (8) and Waite.

Union hits — Helmer, Savely 2, Robertson, Brotherton 3, Hall, Waite, Sasser, Weitlauf. 2B — Robertson, Brotherton, Weitlauf. RBI — Helmer, Savely, Robertson, Brotherton 2.