Wednesday, April 4, 2012
With the weather finally taking a turn for the spring-like, the bats of the Hood River Valley softball team sprang into action Thursday against Reynolds.
The Eagles scored six runs in the fifth to beat the Raiders via the 10-run rule 11-1.
The biggest blow came from one HRV's littlest players. With one out and the bases loaded, Erika Enriquez stepped to the plate. The Raiders brought the entire infield in to counter the slap-hitting left fielder. Enriquez made them pay for their assumptions, as she squared up on a pitch and smashed a line drive into the left field corner to clear the bases and end the game.
"I knew they were playing me in and that I had to get the runs in," Enriquez said. "If I think it I do it."
The bases-loaded triple was the final blast in a barrage of hits off Reynolds pitcher Kelsey Oldham.
The assault started in the first inning with HRV down 1-0.
With two on, Annie Veatch ripped a double off the left field fence, scoring both runs and giving HRV a lead it would not relinquish.
Overall, HRV pounded out 13 hits against Oldham, including six in the decisive fifth inning.
Enriquez led the barrage with three hits and three RBI in four at-bats.
Kayla Byers went three-for-three, including a two-run triple in the third and Annie Veatch went two-for-three with three RBI.
While Oldham was getting knocked around by the HRV hitters, Byers and the HRV defense were sparkling after first-inning troubles.
After allowing back-to-back-to-back singles with one out in the first to score the Raiders' only run, Byers allowed only one hit the rest of the way, a bunt single to lead off the third. She struck out five Reynolds hitters.
Veatch made the defensive highlight of the game for the Eagles to end the top of the fifth when Jaz Boyd-Clark popped a fly ball between home plate and the HRV dugout which the Eagles catcher lunged for and plucked out of the air.
Veatch made the transition from third base to catcher this year, and if the diving catch was any evidence, the transition is going fairly smoothly.
"It's going good," Veatch said of the switch. "I worked really hard on it over the summer."
Veatch was busy diving all over the place in the fifth inning.
With Hallie Curtis and Megan Winans aboard after opening the inning with singles, Veatch singled to left to drive in Curtis and send Winans to third. With the throw going toward third, Veatch made a break for a second, and got caught in a run down, allowing Winans to score. After all that, she managed to lunge back to first base safely.
Four batters later the game was over when Enriquez laced her triple down the left field line.
The run down was just one of many small things the Eagles executed properly in the game.
The team committed only one error. They were also able to consistently take an extra base on a Reynolds team which struggled defensively.
"Its been a huge emphasis for us to focus on the little things," HRV coach Eric Keller said. "If we are going to be succesful we have to execute properly."
For the first time this season the Eagles were actually able to rake their home field following a win. They had to play their home opener on the JV field due to unplayable conditions on the varsity field, and then beat Wilsonville in a doubleheader Saturday before then having to wait through three days of rain and snow before getting another game in.
"It feels really good to be playing on our own field," Enriquez said.
The win wrapped up a solid week for the Eagles, in which they went 3-0 to improve their season record to 4-0.
On Saturday they beat Wilsonville 9-2, 12-2 in a doubleheader.
In the first game of that series Megan Winans went two-for-four with a home run, and Logan Bailey went two-for-three with a double and three RBI.
In the second game Winans went five-for-five at the plate, with her second home run of the day. Veatch and Byers also hit home runs in the game as HRV rolled to the win.
The HRV JV team also 10-runned Reynolds, defeating the Raiders 10-0 and moving to 4-0 on the season.
Tabitha Merton led the Eagles at the plate with a triple and a single, while pitcher Kayla McCafferty held the Raiders to two hits.