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Surprises for Culver softball in home opener

by: Photo By Gary Lindberg - Some choose to stay and others wait during a hail deley as the Culver softball team hosted Mountain View during Saturday's opening game.

When a Mountain View softball team walked onto the Culver field Saturday, it wasn't exactly the level the Bulldogs were expecting.
   Instead of the Cougar junior varsity, Culver was facing the Mountain View varsity. Granted, last year's Cougar squad was seventh in the Intermountain Conference but the young Bulldog team was expecting to face the Cougar junior varsity.
   "That was a surprise," Culver coach Kevin Urbach said. "I was planning to give our younger kids some experience. Instead, we're facing a 5A varsity."
   The visitors won 14-6 and 10-0 in a doubleheader visited by hail. During the first game, hail stopped the game for 10 minutes.
   Once the contest resumed, the teams played through several less severe visits of hail.
   "In between games, it was sunny and calm," Urbach said. "Once we started playing again, the wind and hail came back. It also seemed every time we came to bat, the hail came down."
   Culver pounded out eight hits in the first game, led by Maria Ruiz with a double and triple.
   Mountain View took control of the opener with a nine-run third inning. In the second game, the Cougars put the game away with four runs in the fourth.
   Culver opened its season with a doubleheader loss at Grant Union. The host Prospectors won the first game 2-1 with Sarah O'Gorman pitching for the Bulldogs. Grant Union rallied to win the second game 17-10.
   Culver opened Tri-River play by hosting Santiam on Tuesday, March 18 (played after press time). A season ago, Culver and Santiam were part of a four-way tie for second place in the Special District 3 standings.
   The Bulldogs are then off until spring break, playing in the Summit tourney. Culver has noon games on both March 24 and 25 against an unannounced opponent.