Wallowa Valley Cubs softball team had its league opener at home April 6 against Vale High School. The ladies went 0-2.
The team’s first game of the week was a 19-2 loss to Weston-McEwen/Griswold at home on April 3.
“It wasn’t too much fun,” Coach Gary Gassett said. “We only had three hits and made seven errors; it was ugly.”
Senior pitcher Madison Plew threw the first three innings until a nagging injury forced her departure. Lexie Gassett came on in a relief role.
Gassett was 1 for 3 at the plate. Reece Christman was 1 for 2 with an RBI while Plew was 1 for 3.
Although the young Cubs lost both of the Vale games, coach Gassett said he was basically pleased with the team’s performance.
“We played good both games, and we were right with them all the way,” he said. “We played better out in the field with only two errors in the game. We’re not giving up a lot of runs.”
The Cubs lost the first game 8-4. The team stayed within 2-3 runs of the Vikings for the majority of the contest. Gassett, who also pitched, had only four earned runs against her while striking out eight. She was 2 for 3 at the plate with an RBI and a run scored. Plew was 3 for 4 while Ashley Exon was 2 for 4 and scored two runs, and Christman was 3 for 3 with two RBIs and a run scored.
“She’s so fast and beats out grounders to short,” the coach said of Christman, a senior. She is batting .579. Plew is hitting .543 Gassett is a point behind at .542.
The second game was closer although the Cubs succumbed 9-7. Once again, Gassett took the mound.
“Lexie was running on fumes; she just had to battle,” Gassett said.
After being down 5-0, the Cubs came back for three runs in each in the third and fourth innings to take a 6-5 lead. The top of the seventh inning saw the Cubs nursing a 7-6 lead with two outs and no one on before the Vikings lowered the boom, scoring three in their final at bat against an exhausted Gassett.
The pitcher was 3 for 5 at the plate with a run and RBI. Freshman Claire Farwell was 2 for 4 two runs and an RBI.
“For a freshman, she holds her own pretty good,” Gassett said.
Plew was 3 for 4 with two runs and an RBI while Josie Scott was 2 for 4 with a run and two RBIs. Other hitters included catcher Jessie Teeney at 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs. Ashley Exon was 2 for 3, and Christman was 2 for 4.
“We had a lot of kids with two hits, and it was nice,” Gassett said.
The coach still saw a bright side to the losses.
“Vale is really good and well coached,” he said. “If you can stick with Vale, you’ve got to be pretty happy.”
The Cubs will play a JV game against Pilot Rock on April 14, and their next league game is at Nyssa on April 20. The Cubs are 0-2 in league play and 3-6 on the year.