Friday, March 28, 2003
Wins started piling up like firewood for the Hood River Valley softball team this week during their Spring Break tour of Orlando, Fla.
The Eagles, now 5-2 on the season, posted four consecutive victories Monday and Tuesday to give themselves a shot of confidence as they head back to town for two games next week.
Eagle pitchers Talia Hinman and Lauren Gaulke each threw lights-out against their two opponents, and helped the team rack up wins of 2-1 over Belleville, N.J., and 11-1 and 12-6 over Bloomfield, N.J.
“If our pitching held up, we were confident we would do well this week,” coach Phil Hukari said. “Our defense could be more consistent, but it’s early in the year and we are staying positive for the upcoming week.”
Another reason for optimism is that the Eagles’ bats finally came alive during the three-game stretch. Outputs of seven, 12 and 19 hits gave Hukari and assistant coach Wayne Smith plenty to boast about.
“It was a great opportunity for our girls to play good competition and prepare for the upcoming season,” Smith said on the team’s new website: www.freewebs.com/hrvsoftball. “It is nice to be able to come home with four wins and only one loss.”
Hinman was the star in two of the Eagles’ three wins, striking out seven against Belleville, and eight in the second game against Bloomfield.
She gave up just four hits and one walk against Belle-ville, and also helped her own cause with three of the Eagles’ seven hits.
Freshman first baseman/pitcher Stefanie Draper was the hitting star, going 4-5 in game two against Bloomfield, and hitting a solo homerun in game one.
Gaulke also had a solid trip at the plate, notching three basehits in game one against Bloomfield. Her pitching performance was equally spectacular, as she went the distance and struck out seven.
Other Eagles getting in on the hit parade were Michelle Connors, Ashley Carter, Meghan Flem, Ashley Delepine and Lori Wimmers.