When a team pounds out eight hits, but leaves five runners on base and goes 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position, more than likely they are coming out on the short end of the scoreboard.
That is exactly what transpired Tuesday at 16th Street Ballpark, as several TDW scoring opportunities went by the wayside, while Pendleton managed to get some clutch hits to go its way in a 7-2 softball win in The Dalles.
“That was the biggest difference. Pendleton got their hits when they had runners on base and we didn’t,” said TDW senior Melanie Taphouse. “It is important for us to put our hits together for rallies. Hitting is contagious on this team. If one girl goes, everybody goes. We just have to work on that if we want to win more games.”
Five of the Eagle Indian hits went for extra bases and the first one came in the bottom of the second with the squad down 4-0.
Katie Helyer started with a double to right center field and Meghan Rowland followed that hit up with an RBI double to right to bring in Helyer and make it 4-1.
However, two popouts and a ground out left Rowland stranded at second.
TDW rallied again in the third after a two-out double by Katherine Kramer, but her courtesy runner could not budge, as the side was retired.
Morgan Triperinas also laced a two-out double to center and advanced to third base in the bottom of the fourth inning, but a line drive hit by Morgan Goslin was snared by Pendleton centerfielder Shea Lindsey to cut down the threat.
From the third inning until the fifth, TDW reliever Carley Gowdy was masterful in the circle in holding Pendleton to only three hits and no runs.
TDW could not scratch across a run in the fifth against Buckaroo ace Marissa Jones, and Taphouse held serve with a blanking in the top of the sixth to keep the Tribe deficit at 4-1.
Kramer led off the bottom of the sixth with an infield single and her courtesy runner, Hannah Harris, wound up circling the bases home after Taphouse whistled an RBI double to center to make it 4-2.
With a runner at second and no outs, the Eagle Indians had the 5-6-7 hitters coming up, but a strikeout, a groundout and a courtesy runner thrown out at third base sealed the frame.
That missed opportunity would end up haunting TDW, as the Buckaroos plated three runs on four hits and even executed a double steal to pad the lead to 7-2.
Jones faced four TDW batters in the bottom of the seventh, and stranded one runner.
The senior pitcher allowed those eight hits, struck out six and did not walk a batter.
“It means a lot to pitcher to get a significant lead. It makes it so much easier to go out there and throw strikes,” Jones said. “I normally throw low at the knees. The fact that I had an umpire giving me those calls was really nice. It allowed me more of the plate to work with, so I could really do everything I could to keep them guessing.”
Kramer went 3 for 3 with a double and the quartet of Taphouse, Helyer, Rowland and Triperinas each went 1 for 3 with a double.
Helyer and Harris scored runs and Rowland and Taphouse had RBIs.
Although tagged with the loss, TDW coach Steve Garrett said his group played a fair game.
He would take eight hits any time.
“We hit the ball well today. We hit the ball hard, just right at people and that ended innings and ended rallies,” said the coach. “Everyone in the lineup put the bat on the ball and it some how ended up in their gloves. I am not taking anything away from our hitting. I think those bounces will eventually come.”
TDW (10-9 overall, 1-5 league) next hosts third-place Hood River (11-6, 1-5) at noon Saturday for two.