BEND — The Hood River Valley softball team discovered the perfect remedy for its recent hitting slump on Saturday: Summit’s pitching.
HRV (7-4, 2-0 IMC) skunked the Storm with back-to-back outputs of 13 and 14 hits, winning both games of the double-header by scores of 13-0 and 15-0.
Eagle pitchers Talia Hinman and Stefanie Draper were just as dominant against the Storm, giving up just three hits between them.
In fact, Hinman was one out away from throwing a perfect five innings in game one. But she had to settle for the no-hitter when the defense was unable to complete her final strikeout at first base.
“Our pitching just overwhelmed them,” coach Phil Hukari said. “They’re a young, inexperienced team that will be young for the next few years. But we don’t expect to see that level of competition again this year.”
Hinman struck out 12 along the way and said she is already feeling better than last year, when she battled through back and shoulder pain throughout the year.
“It helps the whole team when we can get outs so quickly,” she said. “Everyone on the team did awesome on offense and defense, which helped us forget about the past couple games. But we know it won’t be like this every game.”
Likewise, Hukari knows that the Intermountain Conference has some pitchers that will challenge the Eagles more than Summit, and he doesn’t want them to get overconfident with their pair of dominant outings.
“We’ll be seeing a lot better stuff this week,” Hukari said of the Eagles’ matchups with Hermiston (Tuesday, results not available at press time) and Forest Grove — a non-league game that has been rescheduled for Thursday.
“But I was still glad to see us be more patient at the plate and lay off some bad pitches. We made them throw strikes, and that allowed us to tattoo the ball,” he said.
The Eagles exploded for one big inning in each game, putting up eight runs in the second inning of game one, and 12 in the third inning of game two.
Sophomore utility player Ashley Delepine recorded the big hit in each game, recording a two-run triple in game one and a three-run triple in game two.
Sophomore catcher/designated hitter Katie Pritchett also came up big with five hits in two games. Also notching multiple basehits for the Eagles were Ashley Carter, Lauren Gaulke, Becki Flory, Meghan Flem, Maria Martinez and Hinman.
“We couldn’t have faced any better opponent to get our offense back on track,” assistant coach Wayne Smith said. “The girls really responded, which was a lot of fun to see.”
The Eagles looked to add to their two-game win streak on Tuesday versus Hermiston. See the April 19 edition for a full report.
HRV learned that it will be without Draper for a minimum of two games. The freshman pitcher/first baseman has two injured wrists, and said, “it may even be two weeks” before she can return to the lineup.