Friday, March 29, 2013/lk
This week’s time off from school didn’t mean a complete vacation for the Hood River Valley High School varsity softball team, which traveled to play in the North Medford Spring Break Invitational. The Eagles played four games in two days and outscored opponents 37-8 to improve their season record to 7-1 with three games remaining before league play.
“This is the first year we’ve been invited down to it,” coach Eric Keller said. “There was a good mix of some quality teams and some not so strong ones, and it was good to see different styles of play from some southern Oregon teams that we don’t normally play against. We won all four games in pretty commanding fashion though, so we didn’t get to see their styles all that much.”
The team started Monday with a 10-3 rout of 6A Mt. Hood Conference’s David Douglas and moved straight into an 8-4 win that afternoon over the Marist Spartans of the 5A Midwestern Conference. The following day the girls took care of business against South Eugene to the tune of an 11-1 thumping and finished on a high note with an 8-0 melee of the Phoenix Pirates.
“It’s hard to say much more than we played really, really well,” Keller said. “Our pitching was solid, our defense was solid and we hit well in all four games. David Douglas and Phoenix are both pretty solid ball clubs and we looked great against them.”
Kayla Byers was credited with all four wins and was backed on the mound by Rose Baker. Offensively, Annie Veatch, Hannah Williams, Hallie Curtis, Byers, Amanda McCafferty, Made Vallejo and Sydney McHale all had games with multiple hits.
Looking ahead, Kellor hopes to carry the team’s momentum into the heart of the season and the league schedule, which starts April 13 with a doubleheader at Pendleton.
“We’re in a pretty tough league so the girls have to really show up to play every game,” he said. “Last year we were the only team in the conference that didn’t make the playoffs. Pendleton went on to win the state title and they look like they’re the top team in the league again this year. We won’t have any easy games once we start our league schedule so it’s hard to say how things will go.”
Next week the team hosts Mountain View April 2, 4 p.m. and a doubleheader against Bend April 6 at noon and 2 p.m.