Cowgirls defeat Summit and Corbett, fall to Sweet Home and Ridgeview at spring break tourney

LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Emma Lees rips a home run during the Cowgirls' 15-10 win over the Corbett Cardinals during the Redmond Spring Break Invitational. The Crook County Cowgirls were both hot and cold at the Redmond Spring Break Invitational Softball Tournament.

The Cowgirls crushed the Summit Storm in the opening round of the tournament, rolling to a 20-3 five-inning victory Monday morning.

Then, Monday afternoon, the Cowgirl bats went cold as they fell 6-1 to the Sweet Home Huskies.

Tuesday was more of the same. Crook County hit the ball well in a 15-10 victory over Corbett before struggling at the plate and in the field in a 21-3 loss to the Ridgeview Ravens.

The Cowgirls showed just how good they can be in the opening round of the tournament as they cruised to the easy win against the Storm, which have yet to win a game.

Kalyn Martinez was in control in the pitcher's circle as she completely stymied Summit's hitters.

Meanwhile, Crook County was on fire offensively, ripping 19 hits as they cruised to the win.

Ashley Owens went 3-4 at the plate with five RBIs and three runs scored. Caitlyn Elliott was also 3-4, scoring three runs and driving in one, while leadoff hitter Abby Dalton went 3-5 and scored three runs while picking up three RBIs.

Liz Barker also had a big game, going 1-3 with a home run and two RBIs. It was the second home run of the season for the freshman third baseman.

As hot as the Cowgirls were against Summit, they were unable to string any hits together against pitcher Ally Tow and the Sweet Home Huskies. Crook County did have 10 hits in the game but they were spread out.

Brooke Dalton and Emma Lees pitched for the Cowgirls, with both pitching effectively at times.

"Sweet Home's pitcher did a great job of keeping us off balance," Crook County head coach Jeremy Puckett said. "We were never really able to string anything together. We also had some costly base-running mistakes early in the game."

Those base-running mistakes included two Crook County runners thrown out at home plate, both times ending what looked like promising rallies.

Seven of the Cowgirls' 10 hits came from just three players. Dalton was 3-4 from the plate while Emma Ackley went 2-2 and scored the Cowgirls' lone run.

LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Abby Dalton gets one of her three hits against Corbett. During the two-day tournament, Dalton had nine hits, six RBIs and seven runs scored as the Cowgirls finished the event with a 2-2 record.Alanya Denney was also solid at the plate, going 2-2.

The rest of the Cowgirl team could only manage three hits.

Meanwhile, Sweet Home scored a pair of runs in the top of the first inning, then added four insurance runs in the fifth as they were in control the entire game, improving to 7-2 on the year.

Tuesday once again started hot for the Cowgirls, who finished with 14 hits in their victory against Corbett (1-4).

Dalton was once again hot at the plate, going 3-4 with a double, two stolen bases, three RBIs and three runs scored.

Lees was also hot at the plate, going 3-4 with a homer and four RBIs, while Owens was 3-5 with two triples and four RBIs.

Martinez and Lees combined in the pitcher's circle with Martinez picking up the win and Lees the save.

Corbett also hit the ball hard in the contest, ripping 15 hits. However, stellar defense led to three double plays for the Cowgirls as they were able to get out of multiple jams.

Then came Tuesday afternoon and a game that the Cowgirls would like to forget.

The Cowgirls picked up two hits, including a double by Lees in the first inning, as they took advantage of Ridgeview miscues to score three runs in the inning.

The Ravens' pitcher, Allicitie Frost, looked shaky in the inning as the Cowgirls looked like they were once again going to shift into high gear.

However, Frost settled down, allowing just one more hit the rest of the contest.

"Frost pitched a good game," Puckett said. "And our defense struggled with eight errors and 11 base on balls."

The Ravens scored three runs of their own in the bottom half of the first, then scored two more in the second to take the lead.

The Cowgirls never threatened again offensively, while the Ridgeview offense shifted into high gear.

Ridgeview finished with 15 hits led by Taylor Smith, who was 3-3 with a double and three RBIs, and Lorena Vasquez, who finished with two hits and three RBIs.

Lees had a double, a single, an RBI and a run scored, while Berkley Puckett had the Cowgirls' only other hit, a first-inning single.

Ridgeview went undefeated in the tourney, improving their record to 5-1.

Meanwhile, Crook County fell to 6-4 on the season.

The Cowgirls have been hot and cold all year.

The team is leading Class 4A in offense with 136 runs in 10 games. However, the Cowgirls have also given up 78 runs so far this year, fifth worst in Class 4A.

Perhaps more importantly, the Cowgirl offense has been inconsistent. Crook County has already scored 20 runs or more four times this season and has two other games where they have scored in double digits.

However, the Cowgirls also have three other games where they have scored a combined eight runs.

Meanwhile, Crook County pitching has shut out two opponents, but the Cowgirls have also given up 10 runs or more four times.

Tuesday was the final non-league game of the season for Crook County, which will open their league season on Friday, April 6, with a 4:30 p.m. contest against the Estacada Rangers.

The Rangers, who were also at the Redmond Spring Break Invitational, went 0-4 at the tournament and are just 1-6 so far this year.

The Cowgirls are on the road at Estacada on Monday, April 9, host Corbett on Wednesday, and then travel to Corbett on Friday as the Tri-Valley Conference schedule gets rolling.

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