Editors Note: Carroll College Sports Information Press Release
La Grande, Ore- Carroll College softball put up two stellar defensive performances to earn a split against Eastern Oregon Thursday, falling to the Mounties 2-0 on a walk-off homer before the bats came alive in the second game to earn a 9-0 run-rule win in five innings.
The first game was a pitcher’s duel from the opening pitch. Neither team could find an offensive rhythm because of the strong pitching from Allison Williams and EOU’s Hailey Kline. The two teams combined for four hits.
The game looked destined for extra innings with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. Shevan Defreitas hit a two-run home run to right center to earn the walk-off win.
Jaylin Kenney and Natalie Gaber were the only Saints to record hits. Williams had six strikeouts and walked one in the games.
The second game would be all Carroll, beginning with a three-run inning in the top of the first to set the tone.
With two outs, Brooke Yarnall doubled to left center to score Anna ApRoberts. In the next at-bat, Tianna Sell singled down the right-field line to score Yarnall and Williams.
Carroll added four runs in the top of the fourth. Williams singled to right field to score Kenney. In the next at-bat, Yarnall reached singled to left field to score ApRoberts to extend the lead to 5-0. The momentum stayed the Saints’ way when Sell reached on an error and Williams scored and Brittany Smith singled to the pitcher to score Yarnall.
The inning ended with a 7-0 advantage and added more in the fifth. The Saints started the inning with three-straight hits. Allison Bayer singled to score Kenney and give Carroll an 8-0 lead, in the next at-bat Williams grounded out to second, but ApRoberts scored from third to push the lead to 9-0.
Tess Eaton did what she has done all season long and sat down the Mounties in order, including two strikeouts to end the game on the run-rule.
The win ended an 11-game win streak for Eastern Oregon and gave Eaton another win to maintain her undefeated record of 8-0. She struck five without giving up a walk and allowing just two hits in one of her best performances of the season.
Offensively, the Saints were excellent. Five Saints had multiple hits on the day and as a team, Carroll was 15-31. Kenney and Yarnall were both 3-4. Williams, Yarnall and Sell each tallied two RBIs.
“The story of today was great pitching and defense,” head coach Aaron Jackson said. “The difference between game one and game two was our offense. Game one we were pressing too hard to get some runs for Ali and that led to swinging at poor pitches. In game two we settled in and let the bad pitches go by and put good swings on the good pitches. Game two all facets finally came together and Tess was outstanding on the mound. For Ali and Tess to hold EOU to just four hits on the day is exceptional. We look to win the series and the weekend tomorrow.”
The Saints face EOU in the series finale Friday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Pacific time.