Another two-win week kept Creswell tied with Harrisburg atop team standings halfway through the second of three rounds of league softball play.
The Lady Dawgs (5-1) edged visiting La Pine 2-1 on April 22 and beat visiting Pleasant Hill 11-7 on April 24.
With Creswell managing only four base hits to La Pine’s five and neither pitcher issuing a single walk, the game “turned into a pitchers’ duel,” said Creswell Head Coach Brett Giles.
The Hawks scored their only run in the top of the first inning, and the Lady Dawgs responded with one in the bottom of the second.
Creswell took the lead in the fourth when pitcher Destiney Black’s double to the fence was followed by a Gracelyn Ehrich’s single to the fence that scored Black’s courtesy runner, Zaide Allen.
But the Hawks refused to go away, loading the bases with one out in the top of the sixth before the Lady Dawgs found a way out. “Their next batter hit a rope to center field that was snagged by Gracelyn, and we were able to double up the runner on second, ending the threat,” Giles said.
Black gave up one earned run on five hits – including a double – struck out five, had no walks and hit one to earn the win.
Aubrie Hatch went 2-for-3 with a double, Black went 1-for-3 with a double, Ehrich was 1-for-3 with an RBI, and Abbe Grubbs and Allen each scored.
“Overall, it was a real good game,” Giles said, while noting some needed improvements: “We need to shore up our base running; it cost us a couple of runs. Hopefully our bats will wake back up soon, also.”
That wake-up happened against Pleasant Hill – to whom Creswell fell 10-0 in its first meeting – if a bit later in the game than the Bulldogs would’ve hoped.
What Giles termed some “sloppy play” had the Lady Dawgs chasing the Billies’ tails early. Pleasant Hill scored five in the top of the second, and Creswell got one back in the bottom of the inning. In the top of the fourth, the Billies’ lead-off batter tripled and scored on a ground out, and Creswell trailed 6-1.
But in the bottom of the fourth, Creswell capitalized on a handful of walks with some strong hitting. After a two-RBI double by Hallie Drago, another two-RBI double by Morgan Janshen and a two-RBI single by Black, the Lady Dawgs exited the inning up 9-6, and added two more in the bottom of the fifth.
Pleasant Hill tallied a final run in the seventh.
Drago went 1-for-4 with a double, two RBIs and two runs; Janshen went 1-for-4 with a double, three RBIs and a run; Hatch went 2-for-3 with two runs; Black was 2-for-3 with an RBI; Jenessa Mallory and Ramirez each had an RBI and a run; Grubbs, Gabby Halgren, Ehrich and Allen each scored.
“Although our plate discipline is improving, we need it to come along faster,” Giles said. “We swung at too many pitches out of the strike zone.”
Black gave up seven runs (five earned) on eight hits – including three triples and a double – struck out 11, walked three and hit three.
“The win was nice; it kept us in a tie for first with Harrisburg,” Giles said. “Our defense still gets a little loose at times but it’s improving. It’s a good sign that we are halfway through our league season and on an upward trajectory.”