Softball title bid on hold
By GERRY STEELE
Softball were flying out of Steiger Field at the Baker Sports Complex with regularity Saturday afternoon.
Baker slugged five home runs against Mac-Hi in their Greater Oregon League doubleheader. But, it was a pair of solo homers by Mac-Hi that earned the visitors a split of the twinbill and left both teams tied for the GOL lead.
Baker won the first game 4-2, but couldn’t hold the Pioneers off in the nightcap. Mac-Hi hit the two homers in the sixth to tie the game, and in the eighth to earn a 6-5 win.
The results left both teams with 8-2 GOL records atop the league standings. Baker hosts La Grande in a doubleheader Friday. Meanwhile, Mac-Hi will host Ontario for two games Saturday.
If Baker and Mac-Hi remain tied, a tentative playoff game for seeding would be scheduled, probably Monday on a neutral field.
In the first game Saturday, Baker took a 2-0 lead in the third inning. Sierra Howerton lined a one-out double to right. Jessi Stephens then hammered a two-run home run over the centerfield fence.
Baker increased its lead to 3-0 in the fourth when Abi Smith homered to left-centerfield.
Mac-Hi then cut the deficit to 3-2 with two unearned runs in the top of the sixth.
Baker answered with a single run in the bottom of the inning.
Taylor McAdams singled and was sacrificed to second by Smith. McAdams scored on another single by Danielle Freese.
Darryn McCauley pitched the complete-game six-hitter, striking out five.
Mac-Hi bunched three hits into the second inning to take a 2-0 lead off Howerton in the second game.
Baker again answered in the bottom of the inning with two runs to tie the game.
Darion Grove opened the inning with a double. McAdams then missed a bunt attempt, but did one better by lining the second pitch she saw over the centerfield fence for a two-run homer.
McCauley then added a solo homer in the third to give Baker a 3-2 edge.
Mac-Hi regained a 4-3 advantage in nthe fifth. Howerton issued a pair of walks and was replaced in the circle by McCauley. A sacrifice, ground out and wild pitch then produced the two runs.
Again Baker answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning.
Tasha Nelson reached base on an error and was sacrificed to third by Howerton. Stephens then popped her second homer of the day to center for a 5-4 Baker lead.
That lead was quickly erased in the top o fthe sixth when the first Pioneer lined a McCauley pitch over the fence to tie the game.
Mac-Hi then added its second homer in the top of the eighth for the winning margin.
McCauley took the loss giving up four hits, two runs and striking out three. Howerton gave up four hits, four runs, walked five and struck out two.
McCauley and Stephens. WP — McCauley.
Baker hits —McCauley 2, Freese 3, Howerton, Stephens, Smith, McAdams. Baker RBI —Freese, Stephens 2, Smith.
2B —Freese 2, Howerton. HR —Stephens, Smith.
Howerton, McCauley (5) and Stephens. LP —McCauley.
Baker hits —Grove 2, McAdams, Shepherd, McCauley, Stephens. Baker RBI —McAdams 2, McCauley, Stephens 2.
2B —Grove. HR —McAdams, McCauley, Stephens.