Crook County scores 16 runs on 13 hits in the second inning en route to easy victory

The Crook County Cowgirls came out on fire Friday at Molalla, crushing the Indians 24-0 in five innings.

Just a week earlier, the two teams had split a doubleheader, but this time, the Cowgirls left no doubt who was the better team.

The Cowgirls scored four runs in the top of the first inning to take control of the game.

With starting pitcher Brooke Dalton keeping the Indians guessing at the plate, the Cowgirl defense shut the Indian offense down in the bottom half of the inning.

The Cowgirls were on fire in the second inning, ripping 13 hits and scoring 16 runs.

Although Molalla errors contributed to the big inning, the Crook County offense was still impressive as all nine starters came to the plate at least twice in the inning.

A double by Liz Barker, which came just inches from being a grand slam home run, was perhaps the most impressive hit of the inning.

"Offensively, the Cowgirls came out on fire," Crook County head coach Jeremy Puckett said.

The Cowgirls added four more runs in the top of the third inning before coasting the rest of the way.

Kalyn Martinez came in to relieve Dalton in the fourth inning and closed out the game.

The lone Molalla scoring threat came in the fourth as Martinez walked one batter and gave up a hit. However, the Indians were unable to score, as they stranded both runners.

"Brooke pitched a solid three innings, and Kalyn came in to pitch in the fourth to complete the two-hit shutout," Puckett said.

Led by a five-for-five performance from Berkley Puckett at the plate, the Cowgirls finished the game with 21 hits, despite playing just five innings.

Justine Brinkley was three-for-five with three RBIs, Martinez went three-for-four with three RBIs, and Jillian Denney also had multiple hits, going two-for-five in the game.

With the win, Crook County improved to 16-7 overall and 10-3 in conference play, while Molalla fell to 4-17 overall and 2-11 in league.

The Cowgirls host a key game against Gladstone today.

With a 13-0 league mark and a 17-5 overall record, the Gladiators have already clinched the Tri-Valley championship, while the Cowgirls have wrapped up second place.

However, the game is still important for the Cowgirls as a win over the Gladiators would improve their power ranking, perhaps giving them an easier opponent for their play-in game and helping their seeding should they make the state playoffs.

The Cowgirls close out the regular season on Thursday when they travel to Madras to take on the White Buffalos, then will host a play-in game against a yet to be determined opponent sometime next week.

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