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The Cowgirls took a tight 13-12 victory on Wednesday in Redmond, then blasted the Panthers 25-6 on Friday before closing out the week on Saturday with a 15-0 blanking of the Sisters Outlaws

The Crook County Cowgirl softball team opened the season in impressive fashion, going 3-0 in the opening week of OSAA season 1 competition.

The Cowgirls took a tight 13-12 victory on Wednesday in Redmond, then blasted the Panthers 25-6 on Friday before closing out the week on Saturday with a 15-0 blanking of the Sisters Outlaws.

"The future of Cowgirl softball looks very bright," said Crook County head coach Jeremy Puckett at the end of the week. "Also, we appreciate all the support within the community."

The Cowgirls started Wednesday's game on fire, scoring four runs in the opening inning. Crook County scored two more runs in the second to open up a 6-0 lead.

The Panthers tried to come back with solo runs in the bottom half of both the second and third inning as they closed to 6-2. Crook County's offense went cold in the middle of the game, while Redmond's offense heated up. After Crook County subbed out starting pitcher Jaycee Villastrigo, the Panthers scored eight runs in the fourth inning to take a 10-6 lead.

Crook County answered with a big inning of their own in the fifth, taking advantage of aggressive base running and hot bats to score seven runs and regain the lead at 13-10.

Redmond added two more runs in the fifth inning to close to within a run, but that was all the scoring in the game as the Cowgirls held on to take the one-run victory.

Villastrigo returned to the mound in the sixth to close out the game and earn the win. Villastrigo pitched three innings, striking out five and giving up just one hit in the contest. At the plate, freshman Danner Hemphill went 2-5 with a double and scored a pair of runs. Senior Emma Lees went 3-5 at the plate with a double, two singles, a stolen base and two runs scored. Villastrigo also had a good day offensively, 1-for-2, with three walks and three runs scored. Crook County finished with 14 hits to just five for the Panthers. The Cowgirls also had nine steals in the contest.

Friday, the Cowgirls took control early and never let up, running out to a 25-0 lead before emptying their bench as Redmond scored six runs in the top of the fourth inning. The game was called because of darkness before Crook County could bat in their half of the inning.

The Cowgirls scored two in the first inning, four in the second, and 19 in the third as they opened up the insurmountable lead.

Crook County finished with 11 hits in the game to just two for the Panthers. Walks and hit batters led to most of the Cowgirl runs as Redmond pitchers gave up 16 walks and three hit batters in the contest.

Once again, Villastrigo was the winning pitcher, while Tylee Cossitt and Bailey Everest also pitched well. Offensively, Hemphill went 3-4 with a double and three runs scored, while Lees was 2-3 with a pair of doubles and three runs scored. Hunter Howard also played well, going 2-2 with a pair of runs.

The Cowgirl offense was in high gear again on Saturday, as they scored three runs in the bottom of the first to take control. After a scoreless second inning, Crook County exploded for eight runs in the third and four in the fourth as they shut out the Outlaws. Crook County finished with six hits in the game to just two for Sisters, which also walked six and gave up seven errors.

Brooke Lockling picked up the win for the Cowgirls, in a game that was shortened to five innings due to the 10-run rule.

Lees once again had a hot bat, going 3-4 with a double and a homerun. Lees also scored three runs in the game before leaving late in the game with an injury. Liz Barker went 2-3 in the game, while Howard was 1-2 with three runs scored and Petar Becker picked up the first hit of her career going 1-1 in the contest with a pair of RBIs.

"It honestly feels amazing to be playing softball again," Barker, a senior, said following Saturday's game. "I missed it a lot. I love our team. I love everything. It's definitely weird playing softball in the fall when I'm usually playing volleyball and the weather is different, but I love it. It's new, it's different and we clicked so well."

Villastrigo, who was pitching high school ball for the first time ever, was also pleased with how the season has started.

"The team is doing pretty good," she said. "We all know the game and everyone played great. Good job to everyone, and I couldn't be more pleased or be with a better team."

The Cowgirls continued the season on Monday with a home game against Ridgeview, then play the Ravens again on the road Wednesday afternoon. Both games are scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, September 23

At Redmond

Crook County 4 2 0 0 7 0 – 13 14 5

Redmond 0 1 1 8 2 0 – 12 5 4

Friday, September 25

At Crook County

Redmond 0 0 0 6 – 6 2 4

Crook County 2 4 19 x – 25 10 5

Saturday, September 26

At Crook County

Sisters 0 0 0 0 0 – 0 2 7

Crook County 3 0 8 4 x – 15 6 1

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