The high school combined softball team may have given up the “Cubs” moniker at the insistence of the Enterprise School Board, but the girls junior all-stars softball team adopted the name and the success that goes with it.
The squad is headed to state after consecutive victories in District 3 all-stars championship play, culminating in a 5-4 thriller victory over Pilot Rock in the championship game.
The ladies started the tournament playing Hermiston on Saturday, June 22, and walked away with a five-inning, 17-0 victory their opponents to the west.
Aimee Meyers pitched for the Cubs, holding the opposition to a mere three hits while fanning eight.
“All in all, between the pitching and the hitting, it was a big team effort,” Coach Shane Kirkland said. “Everybody hit the ball. It was the best you could ask for. “
The squad played again on June 24, slaying La Grande, 21-11. Kirkland said the Cubs started slow, scoring only three runs over the first four innings while giving up four runs in the fourth inning and two more in the fifth.
The Cubs then exploded, and by the sixth, were one run short of 10-running hapless Hermiston.
“They showed a ton of maturity,” Kirkland said of his squad. “It was a very, very exciting game.”
That left only the championship game against Pilot Rock on the following day. The Cubs edged out their opponent 5-4, which put the Cubs into the state championships, coming up on Saturday, July 6, in Klamath Falls.
“It was a super-exciting game,” Kirkland said. “We were the visitors, and we had the lead, 5-4. We got our last two outs on their girls twice trying to steal home.” He added it was his first time seeing a team unsuccessfully try to steal home twice in the same inning.
The Cubs will play at U.S. Cellular Field, a state-of-the-art field.
“It’s a really nice complex there — all turf,” Kirkland said. “It’ll be all of our girls’ first experience on turf.”
Kirkland said that he was told it’s been about a dozen years since the county has even fielded a juniors team, and that makes the success even more special. He also wants the county to know how young the team is, and how it’s playing far above its age level.
“This is a great group of kids, and a great bunch of parents,” he said. “It’s been super rewarding and super relaxing. We’re super excited.”