Crook County rolls to 19-8 win in first game, holds on for 11-7 win in game two

The Crook County Cowgirls exploded for 30 runs on 30 hits as they took a doubleheader from the Estacada Rangers on Friday.

“We scored a lot of runs,” said Crook County Head Coach Jessica Cross. “We hit the ball really well the first game and the first two innings of the second game.”

by: LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Pitcher Emily Benton earned a win and a save as the Cowgirls took a pair of games from the Estacada Rangers on Friday.The Cowgirls scored at least one run in all seven innings of game one as they rolled to a 19-8 win at Estacada. Crook County jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the second game, then withstood an Estacada rally as they held on for an 11-7 win.

The Cowgirls had a 2-0 lead after an inning and a half of the first game. However, the Rangers rallied to score three runs in the bottom of the second inning to take their only lead of the doubleheader.

Crook County responded with a pair of runs in the third inning, then blasted five runs in the fourth inning as they took control of the contest.

The Cowgirls added a run in the fifth inning on a solo home run by Jena Ovens, then pushed their lead to 14-3 after scoring four more runs in the sixth inning.

Estacada tried to keep pace, scoring three runs in the bottom of the inning to make the score 14-6. However, the Cowgirls responded with five more runs in the top of the seventh to put the game out of reach.

Estacada added a pair of meaningless runs in the bottom of the seventh, but it was too-little-too-late as Crook County took the easy win.

“Our girls were hitting the ball and moving runners like they are supposed to do,” Cross said.

Emily Benton pitched the complete game, striking out five Ranger batters while limiting Estacada to 10 hits. Meanwhile, the Cowgirls blasted 16 hits in the contest.

Ovens finished the game with three hits. Bailee Wood added three hits including a double, while Benton had a home run in the seventh inning and Karlee Myers blasted a pair of doubles in the contest.

The Cowgirls came out even stronger in the second game. Crook County scored a pair of runs in the first inning, then scored eight runs in the top of the second to push their lead to 10-0.

Estacada responded with a run in the bottom of the second inning.

Starting pitcher Hailey Smith struggled with her control in the third inning as she walked a series of batters. The Rangers took advantage. Taylor Hilderbrand came in to relieve Smith with the bases loaded and nobody out. Hilderbrand was able to pitch out of the inning without any further damage as the Cowgirls held onto a 10-3 lead.

“She ended up getting us out of that sticky situation, which is huge,” Cross said. “She threw strikes and was getting us ground balls. That’s her job, to get us ground balls and rely on the defense, and that’s what she did.”

Crook County added their final run in the top of the fourth inning to push their lead to 11-3. However, Estacada came back with three runs in the bottom of the inning to make the score 11-6.

The Cowgirls were unable to score the remainder of the contest. However, it didn’t matter as Benton returned to pitch the game’s final three innings. Benton was nearly flawless, limiting the Rangers to one run on no hits, while striking out four batters.

“The girls started to get loosey goosey,” Cross said. “We had that big win and the big lead and the girls were starting to good off like they do, but they fought back and were able to hold them and still come out with the win.”

The Cowgirls finished with 14 hits in the contest, compared to just six for the Rangers. Ovens continued to be hot at the plate, finishing with four hits in the contest. Aspen Christiansen added three hits, while Benton, Kelsee Martin, and Christiansen each contributed a pair of RBIs.

“That second game, none of the girls struck out and they all put the ball in play every time,” Cross said. “That’s what we want.”

With the victory, the Cowgirls improved their record to 7-2 on the year, while the Rangers fell to 3-9.

The Cowgirls open the Intermountain Hybrid season on Wednesday when they play a doubleheader at Redmond (3-8). Game one is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. with the second game to follow at approximately 5 p.m. The two teams play again on Friday when the Cowgirls host the Panthers in a 4:30 p.m. contest.

“I think they will give us a little run for our money,” Cross said. “The girls are going to have to work hard.”

Crook County at Estacada

Game 1

Crook County 1 1 2 5 1 4 5 — 19 16 4

Estacada 0 3 0 0 0 3 2 — 8 10 8

Game 2

Crook County 2 8 0 1 0 0 0 — 11 14 5

Estacada 0 1 2 3 1 0 0 — 7 5 6

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