Bend wins first game in 10 innings, cruises to easy win in game two

The Crook County Cowgirls have come from behind numerous times this season.

Wednesday looked like it might be just one more example of the Cowgirls ability to pull out close games. Instead, the host Cowgirls suffered a heartbreaking 6-4 extra-inning loss to the Bend Lava Bears. Bend then easily won the second game of the doubleheader, taking a 12-1 victory in just five innings.

“It was a really good game,” Crook County Head Coach Jessica Cross said of the first game of the doubleheader. “We missed some opportunities to score but it was a very good game. We made some good plays, it just wasn’t enough.”by: LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Jena Ovens, left, slides safely into home ­after Kelsee Martin executed a perfect suicide squeeze bunt in the seventh inning of the first game of the Cowgirls' doubleheader with the Bend Lava Bears. Crook County lost the game 6-4 in 10 innings, then lost the second game 12-1 in five innings.

Jena Ovens bunted to open the first game. Ovens stole second and third, then scored on an Emily Benton sacrifice fly.

Bend answered with three runs in the top of the second as Kendall Kramer blasted a three-run homer.

Crook County responded with a run in the bottom half of the inning, Bailee Wood scored on an Ovens infield single, while Ashley Bond went to third. However, Ovens was thrown out trying to steal second one play later and the Lava Bears escaped without further damage.

Neither team was able to score again until the bottom of the seventh inning when Ovens scored on a perfectly executed suicide squeeze bunt by Kelsee Martin.

Later in the inning the Cowgirls had runners on second and third, but once again failed to score.

With the game tied 3-3 the two teams went into extra innings.

The Cowgirls had an opportunity to win the game in the bottom of the ninth inning, when Jena Ovens ripped a double to right field. However, Ovens tried to make it all the way to third and was thrown out on the play.

“I will totally take the blame for that one,” Cross said. “If I had left her on second we would have scored and we would have won.”

Going into the 10th inning the game followed the international tiebreaking rules with a runner being placed on second base to start the inning.

Bend took advantage of the base runner, scoring three runs in the inning to take a 6-3 lead. The Cowgirls tried to respond in the bottom half of the inning. Benton singled to start the inning, moving Aspen Christiansen who started the inning on second, to third. Christiansen scored on a sacrifice fly to right while Benton advanced to third. Then Wood hit a hard ground ball to third and Benton was indecisive on the base paths was eventually tagged out. A hustling Wood reached second on the play, but the rally was over as the Cowgirls were unable to score another run.

Benton pitched the complete game for the Cowgirls, giving up 10 hits in her 10 innings of work. Meanwhile, the Cowgirls finished with nine hits in the contest.

Benton and Ovens were both 3 for 5 in the contest. Ovens had a double and a triple, while Benton and Karlee Hollis also each had a double in the game.

Once again, Crook County jumped on top to start the second game. Ovens singled to open the inning, then scored on a Christiansen single.

However, it was the last run that the Cowgirls would get.

Bend exploded for five runs in the second inning and added four more in the third as they took control of the game.

The Lava Bears continued their hot hitting with another run in the fourth and two more in the fifth as the game was stopped after five innings due to the 10-run rule.

Bend blasted 11 hits in the contest off of three Crook County pitchers. However, the Cowgirls were their own worst enemy in the contest, committing five errors. Ovens, Christiansen and Martin had the only three hits for the Cowgirls in the game.

With the wins the Lava Bears improved their record to 14-6, while the Cowgirls fell to 13-7.

The two teams meet again on Friday in Bend with the game scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m.

The Cowgirls will finish the regular season next week with a three-game series with the Summit Storm. The two teams will play a doubleheader in Prineville on Friday, with game time set for 3 p.m., then play again on Friday in Bend beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Despite the losses, which are the fourth in a row for the Cowgirls, the team is still 16th in the latest power rankings so they are still alive for an at large berth into a play-in contest.

Bend 6, Crook County 4

At Crook County

Bend 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 — 6 10 3

CCHS 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 — 4 9 2

Bend 12, Crook County 1

Bend 0 5 4 1 2 x x x — 12 11 0

CCHS 1 0 0 0 0 x x x — 1 3 5

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