It’s been about a dozen years that Wallowa County’s junior softball girls are making a name for themselves in northeastern Oregon. The team is currently flying high at District 3 all-stars play in Hermiston.
Saturday, June 22, the girls administered a 17-0 shellacking to their Hermiston hosts. Pitcher Aimee Meyers threw the heat, striking out eight while allowing only three hits over the duration.
“All in all, between the pitching and the hitting, it was a big team effort,” Coach Shane Kirkland said. “Everybody hit the ball, and it was about all you could ask for as a coach.” He added that the team played conservatively and could have easily run the score up.
Monday, June 24, saw the ladies again on a rampage, thumping La Grande, 21-11.
“We started out slow, scoring only three runs in the first four innings,” Kirkland said. “They give up four runs in the fourth and two runs in the fifth, and then the girls just absolutely turned it on.”
By the sixth inning, the ladies were just a run short of a 10-run rule victory.
“The girls showed a ton of maturity,” Kirkland said. “It was a very, very exciting game.”
The squad faced Pilot Rock for the District 3 championship game on Tuesday, June 25.
Coach Shane Kirkland noted it’s been about a dozen years since the county fielded a junior team. He said the team is very young. Most of the girls are “Majors” age, 12.
“It’s a great bunch of girls and a great group of parents,” Kirkland said. “It’s been super rewarding, super relaxing, and we’re super excited.”
“We’re a young, young team, and our first five games of the year, La Grande beat up on us almost every time we played them, and by the end of the year, we were beating everybody no matter where we went: Pilot Rock, La Grande, Hermiston. I mean the girls have just come together.”
“It’s been a good time,” Kirkland said.