Observer staff

Just a couple of hours after suffering a shutout at the hands of Junction City, the La Grande softball team used the long ball to get in the win column at the Mac-Hi Crossover Tournament Friday afternoon.

And the offensive barrage carried over into Saturday as La Grande finished 3-1 in the tournament.

The Tigers hit four home runs, with the onslaught finalized by a grand slam by Jayce Seavert, to roll to a 17-1 run-rule victory over Stayton Friday.

“They played well overall. Nice to see our offense come alive,” head coach Kirk Travis said. “It’s a great tournament to play in. We get to see different competition and it prepares us for league play.”

Kara Gooderham started the home run parade against Stayton with a two-run shot in the second inning, which gave the Tigers a 7-1 lead. La Grande added two more home runs in the third — each a two-run homer, by Sierra Ashley and Jaiden Hafer — to extend the lead to 13-1.

Seavert finished things off in the fourth with her grand slam for the final margin.

Though they used the long ball repeatedly, the Tigers scored via other avenues as well. An error, RBI singles by Seavert, Mady Bell and Allie Brock, and an RBI groundout by Hafer gave La Grande a 5-0 lead after one inning.

Seavert finished with five RBIs, Hafer drove in four runs, and Gooderham added three RBIs. Gooderham, Seavert and Alaina Carson scored three runs each.

Bell pitched all five innings for the win, allowing just one run on four hits, walking three batters and striking out six.

Earlier Friday, the Tigers managed just two hits in a 2-0 loss to Junction City to open play at the tournament.

Junction City scored the only runs of the pitchers’ duel in the fifth inning on a two-run single by Abigail Bumcrot.

Brock took the hard luck loss for La Grande, allowing just two runs — both unearned — on five hits with one walk and 10 strikeouts in six innings.

Jenna Kister gave up just a single to Lexee Gomes and a double to Bell while striking out five batters for the win.

The Tigers put up a combined 30 runs in two wins to finish the tournament — a 13-3 victory over defending 3A state champion Rainier, and a 17-5 rout of Yamhill-Carlton. The spotless mark Saturday gave La Grande a 3-1 record at the tournament.

The Tigers broke open a close game against Rainier with seven runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Carson hit a two-run single, and Gooderham followed with a two-run home run to make it 10-3. Bell followed three batters later with a two-run single and later scored on a walk-off sacrifice fly by Brock.

The Tigers scored four times in the second inning to take a 4-1 lead. Brock hit an RBI and scored on a single by Ashley, who eventually scored on an error. Gomes scored three batters later on an RBI groundout by Felicity Houston. Gomes’ bases-loaded walk and Carson’s sacrifice fly in the third inning made it 6-1.

Hafer finished the game 4-for-4. Carson drove in three runs, while Gooderham, Bell and Brock had two RBIs each, and four players — Hafer, Brock, Ashley and Gomes — scored twice.

Brock allowed three runs on six hits with a walk and eight strikeouts for the win.

La Grande’s put the final game out of reach early, with Bell leading the charge. The senior went 4-for-4 with seven RBIs, and hit a first-inning grand slam for a 4-0 lead over Yamhill-Carlton. The Tigers poured it on in the second inning with 11 runs to take a 15-0 lead.

Ashley walked with the bases loaded and Seavert was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded before Bell’s two-run single made it 8-0. Hafer’s sac fly and Brock’s RBI single pushed the margin to 10, and two errors led to four more runs and a 14-0 advantage. Bell finished the frame with an RBI single. In all, 16 batters stepped to the plate during the second-inning onslaught.

Carson added a 3-for-5 effort with three runs and three RBIs. Gooderham also scored three runs and drove in two, and Gomes scored three times.

Bell tossed all five innings. She allowed five runs — just two earned — on three hits with a walk and eight strikeouts.

La Grande (6-2 overall) plays its home opener Wednesday when it hosts Pendleton.

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