By ADAM LAPIERRE
News staff writer
April 15, 2006
After going 8-1 in the preseason, the Hood River Valley High School fastpitch girls started their Intermountain Conference schedule with a doubleheader Saturday at Mountain View High School and a home game Tuesday against Hermiston.
And against their first two league rivals, the Eagles outscored the Cougars and the Bulldogs 36 runs to zero for three shutout victories in a row. The girls are now 11-1 overall and 3-0 in the IMC, second in the league only to Summit, which currently holds a 5-0 league record. The two teams will meet on April 22 at Summit.
HRV vs. Mountain View
The Eagles clobbered the ball to the tune of 17 runs in the first two innings at Mountain View. After scoring four in the first inning, the girls hammered home 13 runs in the second for what would become the team’s biggest blowout of the season, so far.
Highlighting the hit list were triples from Meghan Flem and Brianne Rowley and doubles from Chelsey Elliott, Rowley, Stefanie Draper and Sarah Wood. Kayla Monahan rounded the bases for an inside-the-park homer to salt the Cougars’ wounds.
On the mound, Draper struck out 10 batters and gave up only one walk and two hits in her five solid innings in the circle.
Game two against the Cougars ended with a 7-0 HRV shutout. Elliott took to the mound and frustrated the home team with 16 strikeouts while allowing only three hits on the day. Meanwhile at bat, the girls started the game with three runs in the first, with Draper, Flem and Rowley stomping on home before the Cougars could end the inning.
“It really was quite a day of softball for the Eagles,” Coach Wayne Smith commented. “We did a great job offensively and had some quality at-bats, especially in game one. We had contributions from everyone in the line up and Defensively we were flawless in both games ... It was great to see the loyal HRV fans come down to Bend to watch the girls play.”
HRV vs. Hermiston
In a game that would end in five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule, the Eagles frustrated Hermiston on offense and defense. Draper threw a no-hitter and was one walk away from pitching her second perfect game. And at bat, the girls proved once again to be a hitting powerhouse in the IMC.
After opening with two runs in the first, the girls tore into the visiting team in the third inning with a scoring started by a double from Draper. With two outs in the inning, Kaity Culpepper sparked second-wind for the Eagles with a hustle play in which she made a diving slide into first to beat the throw. The girls would score seven runs in the inning to formidably drown any notions of an upset by the visiting team from the east.