Pleasant Hill’s Stephanie Loop placed seventh at the Junction City Invitational track meet on Saturday, April 5 with a time of 1:08.38. Tom Page/for The Creswell Chronicle
A five-inning, 16-4 loss at Santiam on April 1 was the Creswell Lady Bulldogs’ only game as softball preseason play wrapped last week.
A game at Cottage Grove on April 2 was rained out, and a home doubleheader against Umatilla scheduled for April 6 also was rained out.
In the absence of starting pitcher Destiney Black, Carter Kruger opened in the pitcher’s circle for Creswell at Santiam, giving up 13 earned runs on two hits, striking out one, walking nine and hitting four batters in 1 1/3 innings.
Gracelynn Ehrich pitched the final 2 2/3 innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits – including a double – striking out one and walking two.
In Black’s absence, ”we were breaking in two girls that hadn’t pitched a varsity game, and we struggled consistently with throwing strikes,” said Creswell head coach Brett Giles.
That struggle had the Lady Dawgs trailing 13-0 after two innings, and the deficit proved too much to overcome.
Compounding their pitching woes was a bit of rust on Bulldog bats and gloves: ”We had a limited number of practices due to spring break,” Giles noted.
As she has in several preseason games this year, Aubrie Hatch led the Lady Dawgs’ offensive effort, going 2-for-3 with a triple, an RBI and a run.
Hallie Drago went 1-for-2 with a double, two RBIs and a run; Macy Waller went 1-for-3 with a double; Morgan Janshen went 1-for-2 with an RBI; Izzy Ramirez went 1-for-2 and scored; Abbe Grubbs was 1-for-2; and Jenessa Mallory scored a run.
Creswell held an 8-2 advantage over the host Cottage Grove Lions when that game was called midway through the third inning.
Looking to better their 1-5 preseason record, the Lady Dawgs are scheduled to travel to La Pine and play host to Pleasant Hill as Mountain Valley Conference play opens this week.