Crook County softball team still undefeated in league
After a big week of softball, the Crook County Cowgirls sit atop the Tri-Valley Conference standings.
The Cowgirls rolled past Estacada on Monday, taking an 8-2 victory, then came back on Wednesday to take both games of a doubleheader from the Corbett Cardinals.
"I'm very pleased about our performance so far," Crook County head coach Jeremy Puckett said of the team's hot start to the league season. "We are in good shape."
The wins move the Cowgirls to 4-0 in Tri-Valley Conference play, one game ahead of both Madras and Gladstone.
On the road Monday, the Cowgirls started slowly, but came alive in the fifth inning. The team scored one run in the first, added a second run in the third, then scored four in the fifth to take control of the game.
Leading 6-2 heading into the seventh, the Cowgirls found a way to score two more insurance runs as they came away with the victory. The team managed to score the eight runs despite recording just seven hits.
"Offensively, we came out very sluggish," Puckett said.
Kalyn Martinez picked up the win for the Cowgirls, pitching five innings and striking out four. Brooke Dalton earned the save, pitching two innings and striking out five.
Mekynzie Wells as 1-for-2 with a double and three RBIs, while Liz Barker went 2-for-3, scoring two runs. Berkley Puckett also had a good day at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs.
Heading into Wednesday's doubleheader at Crook County, the Cowgirls and the Corbett Cardinals were two teams going in opposite directions.
The Cowgirls entered Wednesday's home doubleheader against the Cardinals winners of five of their last six games. Meanwhile, Corbett won their first game of the year before dropping eight consecutive games going into Wednesday's contests.
Playing in cold, sometimes wet, conditions, the Cowgirls made quick work of the Cardinals, taking game one 11-0 then picking up a 15-1 victory in the nightcap. Both games were shortened to five innings because of the 10-run rule.
"It feels great to start league 4-0," said Crook County outfielder Ashley Owens. "We hit really well tonight, and we deserved it. We've been putting in a lot of work for it."
The Cowgirls took control early in game one, scoring four runs in the first inning before adding five more in the second.
"Our bats came alive in a big way," Puckett said. "The girls refocused on our hitting drills that we've been doing, and they came to work today. It really shows how hard they've been working the last few days."
Meanwhile, with Brooke Dalton fully in control in the pitching circle, the Cardinals had trouble producing base runners. Dalton gave up just three hits in the contest, while striking out five.
While Dalton was making it difficult for the Cardinals, the Cowgirls were having no problems with Corbett pitching, ripping 12 hits off of Abigail Fritz and Emma Dillard.
The Cowgirls didn't just get hits, they hit the ball with power as Brooke Dalton, Berkley Puckett, Abby Dalton and Emma Ackley all hit triples in the game.
Morgan Stafford, Serena Stencil and Daphne Scott had the Cardinals' three hits in the game.
Game two was more of the same as the Cowgirls jumped out to a six-run lead in the bottom of the first inning. Crook County added four more runs in the second and five in the fourth as they were in control the entire way.
Corbett scored their lone run in the third inning off of an infield single by Scott and a double by Faith McQueen. Scott finish the game with a pair of hits as did Stafford and McQueen.
Although Corbett had seven hits, Dalton still pitched a solid game, allowing just two runners past second base as she once again pitched all five innings to earn the win.
The Cowgirls pounded 13 hits, including six doubles, a triple and two home runs.
Ackley had a monster game, blasting one of the homers and hitting a pair of doubles in the contest. Kalyn Martinez ripped the other double, while Mekynzie Wells had a triple and a double, while Puckett and both Daltons added doubles.
"I think we have done pretty good this week," Berkley Puckett said. "I think we made the improvements that we needed to make."
In both games, the Cowgirls were aided by Corbett fielding mistakes, with the Cardinals making nine errors between the two contests, while Crook County had just one error in each game.
Corbett (1-10, 0-4) is not scheduled to play again until Monday when they host the Estacada Rangers.
Meanwhile, the Cowgirls (10-4, 4-0) are off until Friday, April 20 when they travel to Gladstone to take on the Gladiators. The team's two games with Molalla, which were originally scheduled for Monday and Wednesday, have been moved to Saturday, April 28 in Molalla.
"We have some time off, and there's good and bad in that," coach Puckett said. "I really see our team coming together as a unit. I have seen a lot of really good things going on inside the dugout. Our bench is all involved in the game and they are just being great teammates. We can use the practice, but we have momentum right now."
"We have some time off, and we are going to use it," Berkley Puckett added.
Corbett 000 00 – 0 3 4
Crook County 452 0x – 11 12 1
Corbett 001 00 – 1 7 5
Crook County 640 5x – 15 13 1