Coach Eric Keller and the Hood River Valley Eagles would love just one more date with the Pendleton Buckaroos this season.
The Eagles traveled east on Friday for the two teams’ fourth and final meeting of the regular season, and the 10-4 stomping by HRV puts an exclamation point at the end of an eight-game winning streak that goes back to a mid-April doubleheader against, you guessed it, Pendleton.
May 9 highlights
Annie Veach, 3 RBI, three-run homer in 1st inning; Jessie Karr, 2 hits; Kayla Byers, 2 hits, 1 homer, pitched complete game with 12 strikeouts; Breanna Weekly, 2 RBI, 3 putouts; Erika Enriquez, 3 putouts; HRV scored 3 in the first, 1 in the third, 2 in the fourth and 4 in the seventh for the win.
“If you don’t score runs you can’t win,” Keller said about the Eagles’ two April 19 losses.
And score they did. The Eagles rebounded from the disappointing outing, and the subsequent drop in state ranking, with an impressive 15-4 pounding of Pendleton the following week.
Both teams went on to win their next six-league games, which put them in a battle for the Columbia River Conference title last Friday — Pendleton playing for the outright title and HRV playing to split the title.
Hood River’s win bumped its 5A ranking from No. 3 to No. 2, while Pendleton dropped from 2 to 3.
The two teams splitting the CRC title assumes both win their final two regular season games, which is likely but certainly not guaranteed.