The Dalles Both Sandy and The Dalles Wahtonka had several opportunities to score —the Lady Pioneers, however, cashed in those extra chances.
Sandy’s Chelsea Spanier homered as part of a four-run, third-inning outburst and the Eagle Indians totaled nine hits, but left nine on base and went 3 for 11 with runners in scoring position in Friday’s 5-2 softball loss at 16th Street Ballpark in The Dalles.
Three TDW miscues set the stage for Sandy’s scoring chances, as four of the five Pioneer runs were unearned.
In all, the Pioneers tallied five hits, three in the decisive third inning with a single, a double and Spanier’s round tripper setting the stage.
“We played hard, we made errors, and they acted on them, so it did not work in our favor,” said sophomore third baseman Morgan Goslin. “We just got to help the pitchers out behind us. It was not a total blowout, but we will act on our errors and we will come back better next time.”
Down 5-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning, TDW put up its best offensive surge with two runs on five hits.
Katherine Kramer started out with a double, and then Melanie Taphouse singled to put runners on the corners.
Up next was Katie Helyer.
The senior shortstop went to battle against Sandy ace Sammie Byron in a seven-pitch showdown.
Helyer end up winning this matchup and reached on an infield single to load the bases for Goslin.
Goslin roped an RBI single to center, scoring Kramer to put TDW on the scoreboard trailing 5-1.
Kella DeHart then chased home Taphouse with an RBI single to left to make it 5-2.
The Tribe had the bases loaded and no outs, but Byron settled down with back-to-back strikeouts and an inning-ending groundout to escape the threat.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Shaela Buchanan walked and Carley Gowdy singled to right on a 3-2 pitch to put runners on first and second.
One out later, Kramer bounced into a fielder’s choice and crossed first base safely, but courtesy runner Lori Cimmiyotti was forced out at third base for the second out.
Taphouse then worked a four-pitch walk to load the bases with two outs.
Two pitches later, Sandy’s Presly Turin fielded a ground ball and flipped it to shortstop Hailey Valilki at second base for the game-ending force out.
TDW left the bases loaded once, stranded runners on second and third another time, had a runner left behind at second base in the third and one on third in the opening frame.
In the fifth inning, the Eagle Indians had a base runner gunned down on a pickoff play at first base.
Byron threw a lot of pitches, but managed to make the right pitches and get some fortunate bounces to wiggle out of jams.
“They are a really good team. Their offense is even better,” Byron said. “I was just planning on mixing it up a little on them in this game. I had to throw my changeups a lot and move my off-speed pitches on the edges to keep them off balanced. That was the key. I had to mix it up a lot and try to stay one step ahead of them.”
Coming off a game where they rattled off 22 hits and 24 runs, Tribe skipper Steve Garrett could not complain about nine hits and three walks.
He mentioned DeHart, Helyer, Taphouse, Kramer, Gowdy, Meghan Rowland, Goslin and Morgan Triperinas for bringing their good strokes to the dish.
“We are hitting the ball very well. Very well. All through the lineup,” Garrett said. “I was very impressed with the way the bottom of the lineup came through. Some of those girls who had struggles came back and did well tonight. We were getting good swings in. I am very excited about that.”
Gowdy finished play 2 for 2 with a walk and a stolen base, and Kramer added a 2 for 4 effort with a double and run scored.
DeHart added two hits and drove in a run, Goslin added a hit and an RBI and Taphouse chipped in a hit, a walk and a run.
To get a handful of walks to go with 21 hits in 12 innings played thus far is a good sign for a program that is known for its prolific offense.
“We created opportunities to score. We just have to get those hits,” Goslin said. “They are a good team. We are better than that, but we will do better next time. We still think we have a team here thatcan definitely do some damage this year. We will definitely get it done. We are capable.”
Triperinas got the starting nod and tossed four innings of four-hit ball with a strikeout in her second game of the year.
Gowdy closed out the game with three innings of one-hit, scoreless ball. She retired the first seven batters she faced.
“The 5-2 score was indicative of how close of a game it really was,” Garrett said. “It was a well-played game, just infield errors hurt us. One inning cost us a ballgame. It is a matter of calming down a little and getting in rhythm to make the sure plays.”
TDW (1-1 overall) was in Bend Saturday. At 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, the Tribe hosts Forest Grove.