A blowout and a nail-biter set the stage for what should be an exciting season for Hood River Valley High School varsity softball. With seniors Natalia Ames, Hallie Curtis, Amanda McCafferty and Hannah Williams and another seven juniors anchoring the varsity roster, the team is loaded with players who bring several years of experience to the field.
After a slow start in the team’s season opener at Franklin High School, the Eagles showed little mercy once they were warmed up at bat. Four runs in the third, three in the fourth, four in the seventh and another in the eighth secured the 12-2 win. Kayla Byers gets credit for leading the offensive showing with two hits and three RBIs, followed by McCafferty with two hits and Erika Enriquez and Curtis with two RBIs apiece.
Junior standout Kayla Byers returned to the mound as the Eagles’ go-to pitcher, tallying nine strikeouts and no runs allowed in the first four innings. Rosebud Baker closed out the game, allowing only two runs in the sixth inning.
On Tuesday HRV hosted Sandy in a much closer 5-4 win in extra innings against the 5A Northwest Conference Pioneers. The Eagles allowed two runs in the third and another in the fifth before making it on the board in the bottom of the fifth, when Annie Veatch singled to left field to knock-in Curtis. McCafferty scored later in the inning to bring the home team to within striking distance.
McCafferty doubled in the seventh and scored the tying run for the Eagles to force extra innings. Sandy scored at the top of the eighth to take a one-run lead and leave HRV with the do-or-die scenario. Curtis singled to center field to bring in the tying run for the Eagles, and McCafferty grounded-out to shortstop to knock-in Enriquez for the winning run.
The girls hosted St. Helens Friday evening but results were not available as of press time.
Outscoring opponents 39-3 in its first three games, Hood River Valley High School varsity baseball is off to a solid start in the team’s 25-game regular season. The Eagles hosted Franklin Monday and David Douglas Tuesday at Traner Field, then traveled to Gresham Thursday in what turned out to be three blow-out wins in idyllic baseball weather.
HRV hitting was solid, with three unanswered runs in the first inning to set the tone of the team’s season opener 11-0 shellacking against the Quakers. Senior Ty Bofferding returned to the mound after a solid 2012 campaign and is expected to be a team leader in his final season with the Eagles. He pitched a sharp five innings, tallying three strikeouts, no walks and no earned runs. Defensively, HRV had a solid team effort that allowed only three Franklin players to reach bases, compared to 13 hits from HRV.
At bat, Ryan Ward led the team with a perfect 3-3, with singles in the second and third innings and a double in the fourth inning. Kyle Beam kicked off scoring for the team with a two-run double in the first and another RBI in the second inning. Kam Walker and Aaron Perez were credited with two RBI apiece.
The Eagles carried momentum from Monday into Tuesday’s 13-0 shutout against David Douglas. Ryan Ward pitched four innings in the effort, allowing two of the Scotts’ five hits on the night while striking out three and walking none. Riley Van Hoose closed out the final three innings on the mound and held on to the shutout with four strikeouts.
Dominant hitting, to the tune of eight runs in the first two innings, put the Eagles in control early and gave the visiting team little chance of making a comeback. Luke Kopecky led with three hits and four RBI; Beam tallied two hits and four RBI, including a three-run home run in the fifth to seal the victory.
The Eagles traveled to Gresham Thursday and finished in similarly dominating offensive fashion (player statistics were not available as of press time Friday morning) with a 16-3 win against the Gophers.
The team hosts Sam Barlow on March 19, 4:30 p.m. at Traner field.