A 1-3 run last week has the Culver girls fastpitch team right where it has been all season, in the middle of the Class 2A Special District 3 race.

The Bulldogs earned a nice 20-4 win over Toledo to start the week, but a 13-0 loss to Kennedy, combined with a 17-2 loss at home against Western Mennonite, dropped Culver to 4-16 overall and 4-7 in conference play.

Western Mennonite remained atop the league race at 8-0, trailed by Central Linn (8-1), Kennedy (7-1) and Regis (6-4). Culver would have to win out to have a chance of advancing to the state playoffs.

That may not be achievable this season but there's no doubt the team has been improving with each game. After starting off 0-9, the Bulldogs have won four of their last 11 games and have shown better play in the field and in the pitching circle, coach Jack Layton said.

It's the little things that he wants to see improvement in and the Bulldogs took more steps in that direction last week.

Shealene Little made her pitching debut in the win against Toledo to get things started.

In the loss to Kennedy, the Bulldogs were held to just singles by Marie Schumacher and Myra Lopez, while Lopez added a pair of stolen bases. Defensively, Culver turned a double play started by Schumacher, who went to Joie VanAlstyne for one and ended with Cheryl Aldred with the second out.

One big positive was that the team committed just two errors in the field.

Little made her second start Thursday against Western Mennonite, but lasted just two innings, striking out one while walking three. The Bulldogs committed nine errors and fell behind 10-0 after two innings.

Schumacher and VanAlstyne drove in runs for Culver.

The Bulldogs have just one game on the slate this week, at Central Linn on Friday. Culver returns home on May 14 to face Delphian.

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