Lady Buffs fall to IMC leader

Madras joined a growing Intermountain Conference softball club, being swept by The Dalles. The wins kept the host Eagle Indians unbeaten in IMC play (8-0) but the White Buffalos reamain in the middle of the playoff race.
   Madras fell 7-2 and 13-3 to drop to fifth place in the IMC with six league games remaining. The IMC's top four teams advance to the state playoffs.
   "We really believe we can beat anybody in this league," Madras coach Shawna McConnell said. "It's up to the girls to fight hard for those wins."
   Of those six games, just two are on the Buffs' home field. Madras started its trek to move into the top four by traveling to Crook County on Tuesday, April 24 (played after press time). The Buffs will be at Pendleton for a Saturday doubleheader and then host Bend on Tuesday, April 30.
   The final home game is Thursday, May 10, against Mountain View.
   The Dalles 7-13, Madras 2-3: The Eagle Indians were seeking a fourth consecutive IMC shutout. The Dalles allowed just one run in six IMC games (to Summit on April 7) in outscoring league foes 44-1.
   Another shutout didn't happen as Holly Martin drilled a two-run double in the sixth inning of the opener. The Eagle Indians broke the game open with two runs in the fourth and three more in the fifth, all against starter Marisa Hulsey.
   "That was a very, very good hitting team we faced," McConnell said. "They have hitters all through their lineup."
   In the nightcap, The Dalles took control with a 10-run second inning as that game lasted just five innings. The hosts had a grand slam and a two-run homer in the big inning.
   "They had two good hits which were the difference," McConnell said. "After the games, their coach (Steve Garrett) and the players said we were the best team in the IMC they've played this season."
   For Madras, Shirelle Adams had three of the Buffs' seven hits including a double while scoring two runs.