The integrated Wallowa Valley softball team opened league play on a high note with a pair of away victories versus Burns/Crane on Friday, April 5. The final results for the double header contests were 14-4 and 22-10.
Senior Lexie Gassett pitched the first game, painting the edges of the batters box, while giving up only three hits while mowing down five Hilanders. Offensively, Gassett helped her cause by going 2 for 3 with three RBIs. Sam McFarland was 2 for 3 with an RBI while Claire Farwell went 1 for 2 with three RBIs.
“These were not ideal conditions,” coach Gary Gassett said. “It was really cold and windy, but it didn’t rain until the very end. Not a good day for pitchers.”
The second game saw more of the same. The Hilanders were put to the sword by a score of 22-10 in a six-inning battle that was shortened by the rain.
“It was going to be shortened anyway because of the score,” Coach Gassett said.
Gassett again started the second game and pitched 2 2/3 innings, securing the win with two strikeouts. Freshman Liz Rowley came in on relief to pitch the remainder. She fanned four and gave up four hits and four runs.
In what can only be described as an extraordinary afternoon for Farwell, who scored three runs though going 0 for 0 for the day at the box in five trips to the plate. She walked four times and was hit by a pitch on her final trip to the plate.
Rylin Kirkland had the team’s best day at the plate, going 3 for 4 with two doubles and three RBIs. She crossed the plate four times herself. Rowley was 3 for 5 with five RBIs and a base-clearing triple while scoring three times. Five different players suffered after being hit by misfire pitches.
“It wasn’t a good day for anybody,” Coach Gassett said. “When the pitcher doesn’t have much control, you really don’t want to go up to bat.”
The Wallowa Valley girls are 2-0 in league play and 5-2 overall while ranked eighth in the state, according to OSAA.