By ADAM LAPIERRE
News staff writer
April 22, 2006
In their last 12 games, the Hood River Valley High School varsity fastpitch girls have had nine shutouts, three wins by the 10-run mercy rule, five wins by 10 runs or more and six Intermountain Conference victories in a row. And at 14-1 overall after this week’s victories over The Dalles/Wahtonka (6-0) and Bend (10-0, 10-0), the Eagles sit atop the IMC with a 12-game winning streak and sound victories over four of their eight conference rivals.
Thus far, IMC teams have not been able to score even a single run against the Eagles, who have outmatched their league opposition 62 runs to zero with an average of 10.3 runs per game. With less than a month remaining in the league schedule, the team’s mix of pitching talent, solid defense and power at the plate promises an exciting post-season.
HRV vs. TDW
On Tuesday the girls hosted the Eagle-Indians, who currently sit fourth in the conference at 3-3 in the IMC. Under blue skies and some of the most pleasant weather of the season, the home team kept things hot at the Belmont ballpark against their longtime rivals from the east. Stefanie Draper pitched another solid game, striking out 11, walking one and coming one hit short of a perfect game.
Backing Draper on the mount was an unfaltering defense, which would finish the day without committing a single error.
Offensively, the girls proved once again to be a batting powerhouse. They took the lead in the second inning off an RBI from Lindsey Smith to score Brianne Rowley. In the next inning the Eagles opened their lead with runs from Chelsey Elliott and Megan Flem off a single from Rowley. Kayla Monahan then drove Rowley in to give the Eagles a four-run lead.
They would score two more in the fifth off a smash to the fence from Draper to drive in Flem and Rowley.
HRV vs. Bend
The Eagles hosted Bend High for a double-header on Wednesday that would end in two 10-0 victories for the home team.
In game one, Draper got her perfect game, striking out ten in the five-inning game cut short by the 10-run mercy rule. And the girls were again without error in the field, effectively shutting down the Lava Bears’ offensive attempts.
And at bat, the Eagles were again punishers of the ball. They hammered in ten hits, scoring runs in each of the game’s five innings.
Game two brought Elliott back to the mound for a little pitch and catch with Rochelle Friend. In five innings Elliott would strike out 11, leaving little work to be done in the field.
In the third inning the Bears threatened to score the first run against the Eagles in seven games. But they would not. With two outs and runners in scoring position, Monahan made a quick scoop at right field and threw to Flem at first to retire the inning and save yet another shutout.
The story was much of the same at bat in the second game. The girls handled Bend’s pitcher with ease, scoring in each of the five innings and proving they are as effective at the plate as they are in the field. Flem and Draper would highlight the offensive blasting with a home run each.
The girls face perhaps the biggest challenge of their IMC schedule today in Bend. They face Summit High School, which is the league’s only other undefeated team.
Summit hosted The Dalles/Wahtonka last weekend for a double header that would end with the home team winning 4-1 and 1-0.
Current IMC Standings: league overall
Hood River 6-0 14-1
Summit 6-0 9-5
Pendleton 5-1 10-4
The Dalles 3-3 9-6
Redmond 3-3 5-9
Crook County 2-6 6-10
Mtn. View 2-5 3-10
Hermiston 2-4 4-8
Bend 0-7 2-11