The Union/Cove softball team had no problems scoring as it turned in a 3-1 record at its annual Union Spring Bash, netting a combined 52 runs and picking up wins over Bonanza, Colton and Weston-McEwen/Griswold while dropping a close contest to Kennedy.
“We hit the ball well all four games,” head coach Paul Phillips said. “We clean up our defense a little bit and we’ll be right where we need to be.”
The Ladycats opened by winning a thriller against Bonanza Friday, jumping out to a late six-run lead before holding on for a wild 11-10 victory.
Katie Good powered the offense in the victory by going 4-for-4 with two home runs and six RBIs. The senior hit a two-run shot during a five-run fourth inning, then added a three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth that at the time gave Union/Cove an 11-5 lead.
But the Antlers made it interesting in the seventh. Mykala McGee’s RBI double, Seneca Kness’ two-run double and Kaylee Conner’s run-scoring triple made it 11-9. Conner later scored to make it a one-run game, but the Ladycats managed to get the final out and secure the victory.
In the first inning, Union/Cove took a 1-0 lead on an RBI single by Good. They then went up 3-2 in the third on a two-run triple by Kylie Bruce. A two-run home run by Ashten Wright and Good’s first home run were part of the big fourth inning, which gave Union/Cove an 8-3 lead.
Good and Ellie Clark both scored three times in the win for Union/Cove.
The Ladycats’ second game of the day Friday wasn’t nearly as close, with Union/Cove pounding out 16 runs on 14 hits during a wild third inning on the way to a 19-7 win.
Colton scored five times in the second inning to take a 5-0 lead and was still ahead 5-3 when Union/Cove’s offense exploded.
Brianna Kohr and Taylar Daggett hit an RBI double and RBI single, respectively, to tie the score. A two-run double by Wright gave Union/Cove the lead, and Harley Creech followed with an RBI triple to make it 8-5. Good followed with an RBI single and scored later on an error. Bruce scored on a wild pitch, and Taylor Baremore touched home after a passed ball. Daggett struck again with a two-run double to make it a 14-5 game, and an 11-run inning to that point. Clark and Wright hit back-to-back RBI triples, and Good hit another RBI single. Baremore, on her third plate appearance of the inning, capped the wild ride with a two-run single. In all, 21 batters stepped to the plate in the inning.
Wright and Daggett both had four RBIs, and Good and Baremore had two RBIs apiece. Wright and Kohr also had four hits each, and all nine starters scored a run, with eight of the nine scoring at least twice.
Union/Cove’s lone loss came Saturday in a game the Ladycats would just as soon forget on the defensive end. Union/Cove committed nine errors, which led to eight of Kennedy’s runs in a 10-8 loss to the Trojans in a matchup of state semifinalists from a year ago.
A dropped third strike and an error led to Kennedy’s first run, and an RBI single by Kelsey Kleinschmit made it 2-0 in the first inning. In the third inning, Tressa Reidman singled home a run and later scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-0.
Union/Cove got on the board in the bottom of the third, setting off a stretch that saw the teams trade runs two at a time for the next three innings. Clark hit an RBI triple and Wright followed with a single to score Clark and make it 4-2.
Errors on three straight plays in the top of the fourth led to two more Kennedy runs, but in the bottom of the frame Clark hit an RBI single and Good walked with the bases loaded — one of four walks in the inning — to bring Union/Cove within 6-4.
The Trojans countered in the fifth with singles by Kleinschmit and Emily Cuff, both of whom came around to score when Union/Cove committed two errors on one play. In the bottom half, Kohr hit a two-run home run to make it 8-6. And in the sixth, Hailey Arritola reached on an error and scored on a double by Grace Schaecher. Schaecher eventually scored on an error to make it 10-6.
Union/Cove had one final shot in the seventh. Good reached on a drop fly ball with two outs, which led to two runs scoring, but the Ladycats couldn’t complete the comeback.
“We’ve got some good bats one through nine in the lineup. It’s just a matter of cleaning up stuff defensively,” Phillips said. “Our pitchers had four good outings for us. Ashten threw well, (and) Taylar did a good job too.”
In the final game of the weekend, Union/Cove battered Weston-McEwen/Griswold’s pitching on the way to a 14-4, six-inning victory.
Kylie Marriott, Good and Creech each had three hits. Clark added two hits, including a home run. Marriott had three RBIs, and Good finished the game with a walk-off RBI single in the sixth inning.
Union/Cove never trailed after scoring four times in the second for a 4-0 lead, though it held just a 5-4 lead during the fourth.
The Ladycats (4-2 overall) travel to Heppner/Ione Tuesday to begin Special District 6 play.