La Grande’s Jaiden
Hafer has come to expect offensive barrages by the Tigers softball team.
So she wasn’t at all surprised about the team’s effort in a 12-0, five-inning home win over the Fruitland Grizzlies Wednesday that featured the Tigers collecting 13 hits, and one in which she hit two of the team’s four home runs.
“We play great all the time, so nothing really stood out. I just expect us to hit the ball and put the ball in play so we can score runs,” the junior said.
Jacie Howton and Jayce Seavert also went deep for the Tigers. Head coach Woody Wright said the team had to make a couple adjustments to a slower pitcher than they are typically used to seeing. He also said the key was allowing the ball to travel a bit closer to the plate before swinging.
Howton, who with
Hafer hit back-to-back shots to center field in the first to help La Grande take a 4-0 lead, said that point was on her mind when she connected for the early blast.
“We talked about it yesterday at practice — contact points, (how) you have to let it travel, and that’s the only thing I was thinking about when I was in the box,” she said. “‘I have to wait, have to wait,’ and (then) the pitch was right there.”
Hafer connected in the third inning — this time a two-run shot to left-center — to stake the Tigers to a 6-0 lead.
“Both of them (were) making good adjustments at the plate,” Wright said.
Howton and Hafer were two of five Tigers who had two hits on the day, continuing what has been a consistent theme for the defending state champions
of getting production throughout their lineup.
“Our lineup is super strong,” Howton said. “One through nine, anyone can hit it over the fence, which is nice, and we can play the short game, too. We have a lot of different tools in our back pocket.”
But the primary tool Wednesday was the long ball, which accounted for eight of the 12 runs, including the game-ending hit in the fifth. Two hitters after Alaina Carson drove in two runs with a double down the left-field line for a 9-0 lead, Seavert punched a three-run shot to center to put the mercy rule in play.
“Execution at the plate and playing good defense behind our pitchers — and we did both,” Wright said of the team’s emphasis entering the game.
La Grande received another lockdown effort
from starting pitcher
Allie Brock, who struck out eight batters and
allowed just one hit — a third-inning single by Phoebe McGrath.
“What do you say? Allie came in with a good game plan and she got everything she needed out of today — working all her pitches, trying to prep for Ontario, and she did that,” Wright said.
Hafer tossed a scoreless fifth, working around an error and a single with a pair of strikeouts to keep the Grizzlies off the board and finish off the Tigers’ eighth shutout.
La Grande (14-1 overall) hosts Ontario in a Greater Oregon League doubleheader today.
Tiger boys claim title at Walla Walla golf tourney
Braden Bell was one of four La Grande golfers to shoot in the 80s, finishing with a score of 80 to lead the Tiger boys to victory Wednesday at Wine Valley Golf Course in Walla Walla, Washington.
“Having four in the 80s is awesome,” head coach Ron Evans said. “That puts us (in scoring range) to compete at state.”
Joining Bell in the 80s were Cruz Gallegos at 83, Tristen Shepherd at 84 and Bradon McCall at 86. Anton Evans rounded out the scoring at 107, with all the scores coming on what Ron Evans said is a tough course.
“The greens are big and (there’s not) a flat spot on them,” he said. “They kept the ball in play, hit it down the middle (of the fairway) and on or close to the green. And they putted well.”
The Tigers’ winning score of 333 was well ahead of second-place DeSales, Washington (359) and rival Baker (363), which was third.
“They’re all starting to come together (and) supporting each other,” the head coach said. “They’re meshing as a team.”
The Tigers travel to Baker Monday.
Williams leads LHS girls at Wine Valley
Katie Williams led the La Grande Tigers girls golf team with a score of 94 to place fourth overall at Wine Valley Wednesday in Walla Walla, Washington.
Tori Bowen followed with a score of 103, Morgan Tussey added a score of 111 and Baylee McNeil had a 113 for the Tigers, who had an overall team score of 421.
“This modern links style golf course is very difficult and very unique, so it definitely was a challenge for the team, but their play far exceeded my expectations,” head coach Cally Goss said. “I’m very proud of them. I think overall they felt successful considering the difficulty of the course.
The Tigers resume play next Friday at Buffalo Peak in Union.
Outlaws play at Heppner
Two members of the Enterprise Outlaws boys golf team took to the course in Heppner Thursday.
Boone Harrod led the Outlaws with a score of 68 on the par-61 course to take second overall, and teammate Zion Mark added an 82.
Greta Carlsen shot a season-best 115 for the Enterprise girls.
The Outlaws return to the course today at their home invite.
Tiger boys split with Nyssa; girls swept
The La Grande Tigers boys tennis team went 4-4 on the court Thursday in Nyssa, while the LHS girls finished the day dropping eight matches.
Both the boys singles and doubles teams went 2-2. Ashton Morwood shook off a first-set loss to top Nyssa’s Josh Ashby, 5-7, 7-5, 6-3, and Adam Remily also bounced back to win in three sets over Seth Valentine, 5-7, 6-3, 7-6, winning a third-set tiebreaker, 7-4.
The doubles winners were James Thurman and Scott Remily, who bested Bryan Dorathy and Sebestian Berry, 6-0, 6-3. Mason Mellinger and Gabe Blackman eked out a three-set win over Efrain Caldera and Miguel Ramirez, 4-6, 7-6 (8-6 tiebreaker), 6-1.
Colm Cahill took a 6-2, 6-0 loss in singles as did Devin Ingram, 8-4, and in doubles Nick DuVernay and Kaleb Myer dropped a close match, 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, and Caden Johnson and Cahill lost 8-4.
For the girls team, Rebecca Conklin (6-0, 6-0), Maylen Tommy (6-4, 6-2), Brenna Bushman (6-4, 6-4) and Emily Wilson (8-2) lost in singles, and in doubles Maritza Villagomez and Brittany Robles (6-0, 6-0) Katelin Banes and Linsday Shaul (6-1, 6-0), Isabelle Hadley and Celeste Villagomez (8-1) and Lilia Torres and Maria Ortiz (8-0) all fell.
The Tigers travel to Baker Monday.