File photo by RJ Chavez
HRV softball is currently on a two-game losing streak after a two-run walk-off home run in the bottom the of seventh by The Dalles on May 11; final score 2-1 The Dalles. Hannah McNerney (pictured) took the loss on the mound for the Eagles against the Riverhawks. She went six and two-third innings, allowing two runs on two hits, striking out ten and walking one.
Seventh innings have not been HRV softball’s strongest as of late.
Before last Friday’s matchup against The Dalles, the Eagles were coming off a 3-2 loss to Pendleton, a game they had led 2-0 and would end up losing off a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh.
After getting swept by the Buckaroos in the season series, HRV had a chance on May 11 to bounce back and go for a season series sweep of their own against The Dalles.
Despite out-hitting The Dalles seven to two in this matchup, HRV fell by a final score of 2-1 after a two-run walk-off homerun was hit in the bottom of the seventh by the Riverhawks to end the game.
The 2-1 loss in the final conference game of the season puts the Eagles at 6-6 in conference and 18-6 overall for the 2018 regular season.
HRV also ends their regular season on a two-game losing streak. After starting the season 13-0, the Eagles’ went 7-6 in their final 13 games of the season.
Despite the average ending to the girls’ regular season, HRV still ranks fifth in the state heading into the first round of the OSAA state softball playoffs on May 23.
Against the Riverhawks, it seemed that HRV was on its way to a productive day at the plate after scoring a run in the opening inning.
Lauren Decker and Zoe Munn hit back-to-back singles after a groundout that opened the game for HRV, bringing up Hannah McNerney with runners on first and second.
Decker and Munn would advance to third and second after a wild pitch, and then McNerney brought in Decker for the first run of the game off a groundout to second.
HRV would leave Munn at third and head into the bottom of the first up 1-0.
On the mound for the Eagles against The Dalles was McNerney.
Up until the seventh inning, McNerney was nearly perfect.
She had held the Riverhawks not only scoreless, but also hitless, walking only one in the bottom of the second.
However, despite McNerney holding The Dalles scoreless in six straight innings, the Riverhawks would also hold the Eagles to six straight scoreless innings following HRV’s one run in the first.
In innings two through six, HRV had racked up three singles and a double, compared to The Dalles zero hits during that time, but the Eagles were unable to make the Riverhawks pay in those innings leading up to the seventh.
In the top of the seventh, HRV went three-up and three-down, bringing up McNerney to the mound to try and hold the Riverhawks to one more scoreless inning to secure the win for HRV.
McNerney opened the bottom of the seventh by getting a groundout, but The Dalles in the following at-bat would get the game-tying or game-winning run on first base with one out.
With one out and one on, McNerney picked up the second out of the inning off a groundout to second.
The groundout would move the runner on first to second, putting the Riverhawks in scoring position.
With two outs and a runner on second, McNerney was up against her last batter of the game.
A first pitch ball went by to open the at-bat.
In the second pitch of the at-bat, McNerney threw a pitch that number 16 for The Dalles liked and she took it the distance, a two-run walk-off home run to center field to end the game.
The Dalles would escape getting swept on the season against HRV, beating the Eagles by a final score of 2-1.
McNerney took the loss for HRV, her fourth of the season (10-4). She went six and two-third innings, allowing two runs on two hits, striking out 10 and walking one.
Emilie Ellifritz, Munn and Decker led the Eagles offensively, each with multiple hits versus The Dalles.
Softball had one more non-league game this season on Tuesday, May 15 against Franklin (results unavailable at press time).
Heading into this matchup, Franklin was 19-6 overall and on an eight-game winning streak.