By DAVE LEDER
News staff writer
HOOD RIVER — Only one week ago, the Hood River Valley softball team was flying high after winning its first Intermountain Conference game and second in a row overall.
Now, after their second straight home defeat, the Eagles have lost some wind beneath their wings as they prepare for a run toward the league title.
On the heels of a disappointing loss to Forest Grove last Saturday, HRV fell to former conference rival Centennial, 2-1, on Tuesday at Westside Field.
The Eagles (4-5 overall) surrendered just one basehit on the day, but registered only four basehits of their own against a young Centennial squad, which scored once in the second and once in the fifth to escape with the win.
“This was a tough loss, no doubt about it,” said HRV assistant coach Wayne Smith. “A lot of games come down to mistakes, and we just seem to make more mistakes than our opponents, which has cost us some games.”
HRV committed two errors on the day, but the most glaring disappointment was the Eagles’ lack of offense. The Centennial pitcher located her pitches well, but the HRV hitters were unable to figure her out until the seventh inning, when the game was on the line.
Senior Katie Pritchett led off the inning with a double to center, but was tagged out at third on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Kayla Monahan. The junior right fielder stole second and then advanced to third on a Kara Graves single with two outs.
Senior second baseman Ashley Delepine had a chance to tie or win the game with the bases loaded and two down. But she grounded out on a 1-1 pitch to end the game.
“We showed heart and battled all the way to the last out,” Smith said. “We were in the game until the very last batter and it almost happened for us. Centennial is a quality program, and this game taught us some things we still need to work on.”
HRV’s one run scored in the fourth when Meghan Flem singled home Chelsey Elliott, who led off the inning with a triple. Pitchers Lindsey Smith and Elliott combined to give up one hit, strike out five and walk two. Both runs were unearned.
The Eagles host a double-header today vs. Mountain View.