A seven-run fifth inning drove the hammer down on The Dalles-Wahtonka this week as the Hood River Valley Eagles varsity softball team claimed its third straight mercy-rule victory and improved its record to 13-3 heading into the most important game of the season Friday. Tuesday’s 13-0 five-inning stomping caps a three-game series with the Eagle Indians in which HRV outscored their rivals to the east 35 runs to 1.
The Eagles, ranked 5A No. 3, traveled to 5A No. 2 ranked Pendleton on Friday (results unavailable as of press time) to challenge the Buckaroos for what essentially boils down to the Columbia River Conference Title. Earlier this season Pendleton swept HRV with 6-0, 4-1 wins in a doubleheader; the Eagles rebounded three days later and claimed a 15-4 win over the same team. If HRV wins Friday’s game they’ll have a shot at the CRC title and will likely claim a higher ranking going into the state tournament. Rankings freeze at 10 p.m. May 19 and play-in games for teams ranked No. 9-24 will be held on May. 23.
Along with another solid pitching performance by Kayla Byers, who netted 11 strikeouts in five innings, Tuesday’s game featured a potent HRV offense, with 10 hits coming off two each by Made Vallejo, Erika Enriquez and Annie Veatch and one each from Kelsey Wells, Jessie Karr, Kainalu Bailey and Breanna Weekly. Continuing her role as one of the team’s most dangerous hitters, Veatch led the team with 3 RBI.
Home field advantage and a total of 14 hits in six innings helped The Dalles-Wahtonka to an 11-6 win Tuesday over the HRV varsity boys baseball team. The result comes after the Eagles, now 3-6 in CRC action, swept the No. 8-ranked Eagle Indians last weekend in a home doubleheader. Like HRV softball, the boys traveled to Pendleton Friday to take on the Buckaroos in what pencils out to be an exciting matchup.
Tuesday’s loss puts HRV at the bottom of the CRC, but with a 5A No. 18 ranking, their hopes of an extended season are still alive — teams ranked 9-24 as of May 19 qualify for a play-in game to get a shot at the state’s 18-team championship bracket.