The Dalles Katie Helyer sure knows how to put on a show.
The Dalles Wahtonka senior appropriately capped a two-game firework display with more than 430-feet worth of home runs in capping a pair of decisive wins over Molalla and Gresham at the TD Invitational Softball Tournament Tuesday in The Dalles.
Her first round-tripper flew over the left field fence and gave the Eagle Indians a 6-0 lead over Gresham in the third frame of the nightcap.
The second home run was a 240-foot missile that sailed over the left centerfield fence and capped TDW’s 13-3 mercy-ruled victory over the Gophers.
In the game, Helyer went 3 for 4 with three RBIs. In the end, however, this impressive offensive performance had the home crowd buzzing.
Through the first 2 2/3 innings, the Eagle Indians had 11 hits and a walk and led 10-0.
TDW scored in every inning but the fourth and a three-run fifth frame, capped action.
Overall, the Tribe slugged out 16 hits, seven going for extra bases, as nine different players had hits and eight different players scored runs.
“The hitting is definitely contagious,” Helyer said. “When one girl gets on and gets a good hit, then everybody follows and says, “OK, it is my turn, I am ready to go.” We saw that in this game and for the whole tournament. Everybody throughout the lineup was hitting. We are hitting the ball well and hard, we are getting on base and other girls are there to back them up and bring them in.”
In four tournament contests (25 innings), TDW scored 39 runs and rattled off 45 hits.
Katherine Kramer has seen it all and been through it all in her illustrious four-year career as a member of The Dalles Wahtonka softball team.
The senior has won all-league awards, all-state awards, played in high-pressure state playoff games and run the gamut in softball accomplishments
Tuesday’s two-game hitting performance left her speechless.
“Every team has its strengths and this team’s is definitely its offense,” Kramer said. “We can bunt, we can slap, well kind of slap, we can steal bases, we can hit for power. This team is unbelievable. I have never been on a team that can hit like this. I am so proud to be on this team.”
Meghan Rowland added a 3 for 3 split with three RBIs and two runs scored, while Kramer picked up three more hits, two RBIs, a run scored and a stolen base.
Leadoff hitter Carley Gowdy added two hits, three RBIs, a walk and a run, as the first three batters in the order (Gowdy, Rowland and Kramer combined to go 8 for 10 with three doubles, eight RBIs and four runs scored.
Tuesday’s SB Boxes
TDW 9, Molalla 4
Moll 010 210 0 — 4 5 4
TDW 071 001 x — 9 8 3
Sierra Benson and Kelsey Hemmert. Maddy Bradford, Morgan Triperinas (4) and Grace Helyer, Katherine Kramer. W - Bradford. L - Benson.
3B - Carley Gowdy (T). 2B - Melanie Taphouse 2 (T); Katie Helyer (T); Hannah Harris (T). Hits – Gowdy 1-1 walk, 2 runs; Meghan Rowland 1-2 2 RBI, SB, run; Taphouse 3-4 2 runs, 2 RBI; K. Helyer 2-3 walk, run, RBI, SB; Triperinas 1-2 walk, RBI; Kella DeHart 1-4 run; Lori Cimmiyotti 0-1 run; Harris 1-2 run.
TDW 13, Gresham 3
Gresh 000 12 — 3 3 1
TDW 235 03 — 13 16 1
Jasmine Kienboeker, Emily Rose (4) and Taylor Carbone. Carley Gowdy, Melanie Taphouse (5) and Morgan Goslin; Katherine Kramer. W - Gowdy. L - Kienboeker.
HR - Katie Helyer 2 (T). 2B - Gowdy (T), Kramer (T), Meghan Rowland (T), Goslin (T), Kella DeHart (T). Hits – Gowdy 2-3 walk, run, 3 RBI; Rowland 3-3 2 runs, 3 RBI; Kramer 3-4 run, 2 RBI, SB; Taphouse 1-2 sac fly, 2 RBI; Helyer 3-4 2 runs, 3 RBI, SB; Goslin 1-3; Morgan Triperinas 1-2 2 runs, walk, SB; DeHart 1-2 2 runs; Lori Cimmiyotti 1-3 run; Hannah Harris 0-1 run.
This offense gave plenty of support for Gowdy, who tossed four innings of two-hit ball with one run allowed.
Gowdy got some defensive help from Helyer as well.
With Gresham rallying in the fourth with the bases loaded and two outs, Gopher player Kami Smith hit a line drive up the middle, but Helyer made a diving stab for the final out.
Helyer cut short another Gresham uprising in the fifth inning, as No. 5 hitter Maddie Huff laced a shot to center, but Helyer made a lunging catch to end the inning and keep the score 10-3.
Earlier in the day, freshman hurler Maddy Bradford chalked up a win in her first varsity start in the Eagle Indians’ 9-4 drubbing of Molalla.
Bradford went three innings and allowed one hit and one unearned run to go with a strikeout and no walks.
A former standout on a Cherry Crush traveling team with plenty of hardware to her name, Bradford admitted to some nerves, but she did not let it interfere with her drive.
“I just prepared myself mentally to throw strikes and let my defense take care of everything else. They did a great job backing me up,” Bradford said.
With the performance under her belt, the right-hander is looking for additional chances to show head coach Steve Garrett what she has from the circle.
“I have tons of confidence now, knowing that I can compete up here,” Bradford said. “I feel unstoppable in a lot of ways. It feels great. I really want Garrett to think long and hard about bringing me up here more. I would love to be up here more. I am ready for it.”
What put Bradford at ease was a seven-run second inning TDW dropped on Molalla to erase a 1-0 deficit.
Rowland drove in a pair with a two-run single, Melanie Taphouse chased home two more runs on a two-out, two-run double to centerfield and Helyer added an RBI double to make the score 6-1.
Helyer later scored on a throwing error to move the Tribe ahead, 7-1.
TDW added a single run in the third and an insurance run in the sixth frame on an RBI single to left by Morgan Triperinas that plated Taphouse.
Triperinas tossed four innings of relief and used her pinpoint control to induce Molalla into nine groundball outs in her time.
Taphouse, who went 8 for 14 with seven RBIs and five runs scored in tourney play, led the 10-hit output versus Molalla by going 3 for 4 with two doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored.
Hannah Harris added a double and a run, Kella DeHart had a hit and a run and Gowdy roped a triple, walked and scored twice.
It is still only March, but Garrett feels like things are taking shape for this team as it approaches a big stretch
“I think what it is is we are stepping into who we are. They are finally realizing what they can do,” Garrett said. “Our game plan has always been the same from the beginning: throw strikes, make plays and hit the ball and holy moly that is what we did today. I just cannot say enough.”
TDW (6-3 overall) hits the road to Hermiston for a single game at 2 p.m. Friday against Hillsboro.
At 5 p.m. Tuesday, the Tribe heads to Lakeridge.