Observer staff

The Eastern Oregon softball team gained ground on the sixth and final spot in the Cascade Collegiate Conference tournament by taking three of four games from the University of Providence over the weekend, including winning two of three CCC games, in Pasco, Washington.

The wins, coupled with Carroll College suffering a sweep against College of Idaho, puts the Mountaineers two games behind Carroll and Providence for sixth place with two weeks to play.

Friday

EOU 7, Providence 6

The Mountaineers opened the weekend set with a come-from-behind victory, scoring three times in the bottom of the sixth inning to take the lead for good.

Brandi Bowling tied the score at 5-5 in the sixth with a sacrifice fly before Haley Ebner and Jordan Henley hit back-to-back RBI singles to plate two more runs and give Eastern a 7-5 edge.

Karlie Southworth hit a home run in the seventh for Providence, but the Mountaineers held on.

EOU took a 2-1 lead in the second inning when Rayne Spencer hit an RBI single, but fell behind 5-2 when the Argos scored four times in the fourth.

Two errors led to two more EOU runs in the fifth to help the Mountaineers draw closer.

An error in the first allowed Spencer to score the Mountaineers’ first run.

Spencer and Henley each had two hits for EOU. Amanda Smith pitched three innings of relief to pick up the win, allowing one run on two hits with two strikeouts.

Providence 5, EOU 1

The Argos jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead that they never relinquished in Friday’s nightcap.

Southworth’s RBI double and an error led to two runs in the first, and Hannah Vandomelen hit a two-run double in the second for a four-run advantage for Providence.

Eastern, which had just four hits in the second game, got on the board on Sarah Bonner’s RBI double in the second inning.

Smith surrendered four runs on four hits in two innings for the loss for EOU. Jessica Lambert, in relief, kept EOU in the game, allowing one run on five hits in five innings with two walks and four strikeouts.

Saturday

EOU 7, Providence 1

The Mountaineers rolled from start to finish to earn a crucial win in the final CCC game of the weekend.

Ebner went 3-for-3 with three RBIs, including a first-inning single to drive in the game’s first run and a two-run single in the sixth to cap off the scoring. Spencer and Hannah Rothwell both drove in runs on fielder’s choices in the second and third innings, and Bonner added a two-run double in the fifth.

Bowling added a 2-for-3 effort on the afternoon and scored three times for the Mountaineers.

Lauren Spencer, meanwhile, shut down the Argos for the complete-game victory, surrendering just one run on five hits and striking out four batters. She did walk five, but worked around the free passes.

EOU 12, Providence 3

Eastern capped the weekend with its first mercy-rule victory of the season as it scored seven runs in the first inning to take control of the game and cruise to the win.

The Mountaineers responded quickly after Olivia Warren hit a three-run home run in the first for an early 3-0 Argos’ lead. Ebner hit an RBI single, Bonner drove in a run on a fielder’s choice and both Rothwell and Shelby Starr worked bases-loaded walks to force in two more runs for a 4-3 lead. Julie Hernandez followed with an RBI single and two more runs scored on a pair of Providence wild pitches.

An error, a sacrifice fly by Bonner and a two-run double by Starr made it 11-3 in the second inning, and Ebner added an RBI groundout in the third for the final margin.

Eastern registered just six hits in the game, but was issued 10 walks and took advantage of three Argo errors. Starr finished with three RBIs, and both Bonner and Ebner drove in a pair of runs.

Smith shook off the early home run to get the win, allowing six hits in four innings with a pair of strikeouts.

The Mountaineers (10-27 overall, 5-16 CCC) travel to Northwest Christian Friday and Saturday for their final road trip of the regular season.

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