March 16, 2004 11:00 pm

PENDLETON — The La Grande softball girls had a rough day in the field, but rallied from a 7-3 deficit against Pendleton to win their season opener in eight innings 11-10 Tuesday.

Jennifer Funkhouser had a home run, a double and four runs batted in. Coach Majalise Tolan said Funkhouser's double went to the fence and was the best-hit ball of the day.

Des McCoy had a double and two RBIs, including the game-winning hit, and she pitched the final four innings to pick up the victory.

Caylin Goss had two RBIs and scored the winning run.

La Grande won despite making seven errors. Tolan said Pendleton did a good job of capitalizing on any mistake La Grande made. However, she was impressed with how the Tigers didn't give up after a six-run Pendleton fourth inning.

"The main thing I'll take from that game is they showed a lot of work ethic," said Tolan.

The Tigers bounced back with a seven-run sixth inning to take a 10-7 lead. They allowed three Pendleton runs in the sixth and seventh innings to let the Buckaroos tie the game at 10-10 after seven.

The Tigers scored the winning run in the top of the eighth when Goss got on base on an error and stole second. McCoy then hit a double to score Goss, and La Grande was able to keep Pendleton at bay in the bottom of the eighth.

Tolan said the outfield played well, cutting down two Buckaroo runners on the basepaths.

La Grande next plays March 25, hosting Yamhill-Carlton for the Tigers first home game.

La Grande 11, Pendleton 10 (8 innings)

La Grande 200 107 01 —11 10 7

Pendleton 100 601 20 —10 5 6

Bethany Wolford to Des McCoy, McCoy (5) to Jennifer Funkhouser. Nirschl to Dick, Merrimer (6) to Dick. WP — McCoy. LP — Merrimer.

La Grande — 2B, Funkhouser, McCoy, HR — Funkhouser. RBI — Funkhouser 4, McCoy 2, Caylin Goss 2, Krystle Gore, Ashleigh Wilson, Kinsey Chadwick.

JV result — La Grande 14, Pendleton 4.