Gerry Steele
The Baker City Herald

Baker kept its hopes of a Greater Oregon League softball title alive Thursday by sweeping Ontario 5-4 and 7-4 at the Baker Sports Complex.

The sweep gives Baker (15-10 overall) an 8-4 GOL record, a game behind La Grande (8-2). The Tigers play Mac-Hi Saturday. Baker needs La Grande to lose twice to Mac-Hi and force a one-game playoff for the crown.

Thursday, Baker rallied from behind in both games.

In the opener, freshman Jessie Stephens gave Baker a brief 1-0 lead with her first home run of the season in the fourth inning.

Ontario then let loose its own home run bats, hitting back-to-back-to-back homers in the fifth. Ali Yano, Jenny Yano and Erika Hopper hit consecutive homers to give the Tigers a 4-1 lead.

Baker answered in the bottom of the inning, and again it was Stephens doing the damage.

A single by Tara Talbott, a walk to Tori Brown and Darryn McCauley getting hit by a pitch loaded the bases with one out. Rebecca Joseph also was hit by a pitch to drive home the first run. Stephens then laced a triple down the right field line to score three more runs and give Baker a 5-4 edge.

Brown, who had relieved starter Mackenzie Srack in the fifth, then sent the Tigers down 1-2-3 in both the sixth and seventh to earn her seventh win of the season.

Trailing 2-0 in the second game, Baker erupted for four runs in the fourth inning. Talbott led off with her 10th home run of the season. Stephens later added an RBI double. The other two runs scored on an Ontario error.

Ontario tied the game at 4-4 in the top of the fifth, only to have Baker rally again in the bottom of the inning. Again an Ontario error aided the score.

Andrea Wilson's RBI single, and a bases-loaded walk to Joseph added a pair of insurance runs in the sixth.

Brown pitched the first five innings to gain her eighth win. Srack threw the final two innings to earn her second save of the season.

First game

Ontario 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 - 4

Baker 0 0 0 1 4 0 x - 5

J. Yano and Barnett. Srack, Brown (5) and Joseph. WP andndash; Brown (7-3) LP andndash; J. Yano.

Ontario hits andndash; Barnett, Hopper 2, Kat. Hendon 3, Kai. Hendon 2, Erlebach, Gonzalez, A. Yano, J. Yano. Baker hits andndash; Brown, Stephens 2, Daly, Talbott, Vela.

Ontario RBI andndash; Hopper, A. Yano 2, J. Yano. Baker RBI andndash; Stephens 4, Joseph.

3B andndash; Stephens. HR andndash; Hopper, A. Yano, J. Yano, Stephens.

Second game

Ontario 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 - 4

Baker 0 0 0 4 1 2 x - 7

J. Yano and Barnett. Brown, Srack (5) and Joseph. WP andndash; Brown (8-3). LP andndash; J. Yano. S andndash; Srack (2).

Ontario hits andndash; Boyd 2, Kay. Hendon, A. Yano, Barnett. Baker hits andndash; Talbott 2, McCauley, Stephens, Daly, Wilson, Brown.

Ontario RBI andndash; Kat. hendon, Barnett, J. Yano. Baker RBI andndash; Talbott 1, Stephens, Wilson, Joseph.

2B andndash; Stephens, Daly. HR andndash; Talbott (10).