Miller, Goicoa gang up on Culver foes
Pitching pair leads softball Bulldogs in sweeps of CBC doubleheaders
It wasn't the no-hitter she'd twirled earlier in the week, at home against Umatilla, but Bree Miller's mound mastery for the Culver Bulldogs Saturday still proved proficient.
Four days after blanking Umatilla, Miller was strong again.
Hot hitting combined with the three-hit pitching of Miller and a five-hitter by Lanisha Goicoa catapulted Culver High past Heppner, 8-2 and 18-7, in an April 19 Columbia Basin Conference softball doubleheader at Heppner.
Winning left Culver 4-0 in the Columbia Basin Conference. It is now 7-0 overall. The league record ties the Bulldogs with the Pilot Rock Rockets at 4-0, as of Monday.
"Most the internet information I've see makes Pilot Rock the team to beat in the West," said Jack Layton, Culver's first-year coach.
Culver used a 12-run third inning in second-game action on Saturday to end the day two-innings early, under a 10-run rule used throughout Oregon in high school softball.
Goicoa contributed four hits while patrolling shortstop for Culver in game one Saturday. A three-hit day by Veronica "Ronni" Montes bolstered the Bulldogs.
Miller mastered Heppner. She twirled a three-hitter before adding two hits as a batter in the second game.
Marissa Hagman, the catcher for all 12 innings Saturday, clanged out two productive hits herself during the game-two win that included a 12-run third inning by Culver.
"Everyone except (Kelsea) Lang scored in that inning and Kelsea scored twice by the end of the day," Layton noted.
"The girls were all hitting the ball hard so we kind of took the bunt out," he added.
Miller, Goicoa and Brieona Whitaker were joined by Catrina Schehen in scoring twice each in Culver's third-inning explosion in Saturday's second game. Kristy Allen, Montes, Hagman and Calderon each added runs in the same inning.
Miller and Goicoa hardly needed help from their teammates but received plenty on Tuesday. Both pitched a complete game of five innings against Umatilla in Culver's April 15, CBC doubleheader.
Augmented by base hits from themselves and their teammates, Culver's pitchers recorded 15-0 and 19-1 wins over Umatilla.
Miller no hit Umatilla's inexperienced Vikings in game one. Converting walks and hits in the opening innings efficiently let Culver cruise. It scored eight runs in the first and four more in the second.
Miller notched two strike outs against the Vikings twice in the first thee innings on April 15.
Culver's defense covered one of its rare mistakes against Umatilla. Whitaker, playing left field, threw out a runner who raced for home when the catcher's throw got past third when a runner from second stole. Whitaker's return throw and Hagman's tag kept Umatilla scoreless.
Umatilla's first hit of the day didn't come until the second game's second inning.
Culver is playing Crook County Thursday in non-league games at Culver. It turns around to play Pilot Rock Friday. That could be a showdown for first dependent on the results of an April 22 doubleheader between Wahtonka and Culver at The Dalles.