Lady Tigers batter visiting Ontario in GOL sweep

May 06, 2013 11:21 am

La Grande shortstop Denise Comfort puts the tag on Ontario’s Annabel Nunoz Friday at Sam Marcum Field. (Brad Mosher/The Observer)
La Grande shortstop Denise Comfort puts the tag on Ontario’s Annabel Nunoz Friday at Sam Marcum Field. (Brad Mosher/The Observer)

by Brad Mosher/The Observer

La Grande kept Ontario winless in Greater Oregon League softball play Friday, handing the visiting Tigers a pair of losses at Sam Marcum Field in Pioneer Park.

Even more important than the 7-2 and 11-0 wins, was the impact the wins had in the league standings.

The sweep moved La Grande into a tie for second place with Baker/Powder Valley — both with 5-5 records — after undefeated McLoughlin swept Baker/Powder Valley Saturday.

It also set up a home battle with the Lady Bulldogs for second place.

Although Ontario took the lead

early, it was an explosive fourth inning that turned the game around for La Grande.

“We finally executed some bunts and put the ball in play,” said
La Grande softball coach Kevin Kohr. 

La Grande pummeled Ontario pitching for seven runs, turning a 1-0 deficit into a six-run lead by the end of the fourth inning.

One of the sparks to the scoring explosion came when Ontario pitcher Nykol Kiniskey hit Denise Comfort in the helmet with a pitch “When Denise got hit, it kind of fired us up,” Kohr said. “The girls stayed focused.”

La Grande pitcher Kali Avila started the inning with a walk, then Olivia Trotter followed with a single, before Comfort got hit.

Avery Albrecht’s double seconds later scored Trotter, and Brandy Blackman’s single scored Comfort.

After Madison Elliott’s walk, Kendall Kirkland scored two with a single.

Kirkland moved to second on a wild pitch, then scored on freshman pitcher Avila’s single to right field.

Avila struggled at times on the mound but still had a strong performance, Kohr said. “We had more walks than we are used to seeing. Kali moved the ball around well. She did a good job. She stayed focused and got the outs when she needed to,” the coach said.

Avila allowed two hits.

The score could have been much higher, but La Grande stranded eight baserunners in the first game.

“When we put the ball in play, good things happen. We bunted the ball. We hit the ball,” Kohr said.

Comfort also was hit by a pitch in the second game.

Avila and Olivia Trotter each had two doubles, while Albrecht hit a double and Blackman had a single.

Lawrence blanks Ontario

In the second game,
La Grande made short work of Ontario — literally — needing just 4-1/2 innings to pick up an 11-0 win.

La Grande scored four times in the first inning and three times in the second inning. Four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning built an 11-0 La Grande lead. Pitcher Emily Lawrence picked up the shutout win by putting the Ontario batters down in order.