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Tribe softballers lose a 7-6 heartbreaker

The Dalles Wahtonka came so close to pulling off a spirited upset of Churchill, but left the tying run stranded at second in their 7-6 state playoff setback Wednesday in Eugene.

In the seesaw game, TDW held a 2-0 lead, but Churchill scored five runs in the bottom of the fifth frame to lead 5-2.

TDW evened the count at 5-apiece on RBI hits by Meghan Rowland and Hannah Harris and Kella Dehart scored on an error.

“We just battled back every time,” said TDW coach Steve Garrett. “We got down, we came back, we got down, and we came back and had the tying run at second base. We could not get her in. The girls did well. Everybody just gave it there all.”

With the score knotted at 5-5 in the bottom of the sixth, Churchill’s leadoff hitter Laina Holmgren roped the eventual game-winning two-run home run to give the Lancers a 7-5 advantage.

In the top of the seventh, Tribe senior Katherine Kramer led off with a double and then Melanie Taphouse reached on an infield single to put runners on the corners with no outs.

Kella DeHart drove in Kramer on an RBI groundout. On the play, courtesy runner Grace Helyer moved to second base as to potential tying run.

Churchill ace Taylor Potter settled in and retired Morgan Goslin and Katie Helyer on back-to-back groundouts to end the game.

Potter tossed seven innings of 11-hit ball with four strikeouts and four walks. She stranded six Tribe base runners.

TDW netted 11 hits and five of those went for extra bases.

Rowland went 1 for 2 with two runs scored and a walk, and Katie Helyer ended up going 2 for 4 with a run and an RBI.

DeHart had a triple, an RBI and a run scored, and Kramer finished 3 for 3 with a walk and a run scored.

Taphouse lasted 4 1/3 innings and was charged with five runs on five hits with a couple of strikeouts.

Garrett had nothing to complain about. His veterans produced.

“We couldn’t have asked for more from our seniors that is for sure,” said TDW coach Steve Garrett. “They had a great final show. They will be missed.”

After delay, Dufur dropped by GU

Once the rains came and delayed play for more than 30 minutes, Grant Union got their wits about them and broke open a scoreless tie with 10 runs in the fourth inning, four in the fifth and three in the sixth to run away with a 17-3 victory Wednesday night in 2A/1A state baseball playoff action in John Day.

The rain came and then it was a completely different game after we went back on the field,” said Dufur coach C.S. Little. “They are veteran ballclub that carries itself very well. I think they calmed down a little bit and got back after it. The difference in the game was that they hit it and they hit it well.”

Dufur had its chances early in the game with three walks and two hit batters off starter Lane Williams, but could not break through.

Ranger starter Cole Parke was dealing in his own right with a one-hitter through three innings.

“Cole was pitching a great game,” Little said. “Anytime you have a pitcher that is sitting around for 30-40 minutes, they are not going to come back the same. That is what happened to Cole.”

Once the game commenced, Williams was lifted for ace pitcher Jordan Ackerman.

He gave up all six Ranger hits, but the prospector offense got rolling off Dufur pitchers Parke, Trever Tibbets and Bradley Newman.

That trio allowed 17 runs on 13 hits with eight walks and five striekouts.

Of the 17 runs, 13 were eanred.

Down 17-0 in the top of the seventh inning, Josh Keyser slugged a three-run home run to bring in Parke and Newman and make it 17-3.

Parke went 2 for 4 with a run and both Tibbets and Newman notched a hit and walk apiece. Keyser finished 1 for 4.

“Who knows if it would have made a difference, but that delay hurt us,” Little said. “We could not get back into after that. They are a quality ballclub here in Grant Union. I think they will go far in the tournament.”

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