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The Cowgirls won three times last week to remain undefeated in league play and extend their win streak to seven games.

PMG PHOTO: LON AUSTIN - Crook County sophomore Raelynn Weaver hits a home run during a 16-1 win over Redmond on Tuesday, April 19, in Prineville. 'During league, we have really gotten our bats hot,' said Weaver after the game.

The Crook County High School softball team is on a roll.

After starting the season with a 3-4 record, the team has won seven games in a row.

The Cowgirls earned three of those wins this past week, dispatching Redmond 16-1 on Tuesday, April 19, before taking both ends of a double-header from Hood River Valley on Friday, April 22. Crook County won its games over the Eagles by scores of 3-0 and 10-0.

During Tuesday's contest with Redmond, the issue was never in doubt. The Cowgirls scored seven runs in the bottom half of the first inning and never looked back.

Cowgirl pitcher Tylee Cossitt struggled with control in the windy conditions, walking several Panthers, but the sophomore did not allow a hit over three innings of work.

Meanwhile, the Cowgirls continued to score at will, adding six runs in the second inning and three more in the third before the game was called due to the 15-run rule. The third inning could have even been worse, as the Cowgirls still had just one out when the game was ended.

The Cowgirls belted 12 hits in their two and one-third innings at the plate. Katelynn Weaver finished with three hits, including a double, while Mikinley Puckett registered a triple as one of her two hits on the day. Cossitt also helped her own cause, nabbing a double and a single off Redmond's pitcher. Chloe McKenzie and Danner Hemphill each added a pair of hits, and Raelynn Weaver blasted a home run.

"During league, we have really got our bats hot," Raelynn Weaver said. "It feels pretty good to be undefeated in league. We just have to be mentally prepared, and we have to be ready. We still have some areas to improve on, but we are starting out strong."

The Cowgirls continued their strong play on Friday against Hood River Valley, jumping out to a 2-0 lead at the end of one inning. The Cowgirls played small-ball, using bunts and stolen bases to score those two runs, which turned out to be all the Cowgirls would need as they held Hood River Valley scoreless during the game. However, the team added an insurance run late in the game just to be sure.

Game 2 saw Crook County jump out on top again, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first. Crook County added a run in the second, and six runs in the third to push their lead to 10-0. Hood River Valley hit the ball hard throughout the game, but Crook County used great defense to keep the Eagles scoreless.

Playing in center field, McKenzie had an especially busy evening and made several outs. The most impressive of her defensive plays came on what looked like a certain double in the third inning, but McKenzie dove into the outfield fence and made the highlight-reel catch.

"Defense was really big," McKenzie said. "We needed our defense to be solid in order to win this game and we needed to come out on top. We still have some work to do, but we are getting the momentum we need to go forward. I think our players did absolutely outstanding tonight. Definitely went above and beyond. "

Hemphill, who caught both games against Hood River Valley, agreed that defense is one of the keys to the current Cowgirl winning streak.

"We were huge," she said. "We all made our routine plays, and then we also made those outstanding plays that are hard to make. We allow hits sometimes, but our players make their routine plays. Our pitchers did a good job of throwing strikes. We would rather have a playable ball than a walk. "

With the wins, the Cowgirls pushed their Intermountain Conference record to 5-0 and their overall record to 10-4. Meanwhile, Redmond dropped to 0-3 in league and 3-11 overall, while Hood River Valley fell to 2-3 in league and 6-9 overall.

Crook County goes on the road to Hood River Valley today, April 26, then are on the road again on Friday, April 29, as they take on Ridgeview (2-3, 6-8). First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Friday in Redmond.


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