Culver softball fighting for third

Now Culver softball is in a fight for third place.
   The Bulldogs suffered a pair of losses in 2A/1A Special District 3 play to drop to 6-3 (7-8 overall). Culver fell to league leader Kennedy 19-1 and was upset at Santiam 6-5 in nine innings.
   In both games, errors hampered the Bulldogs. Culver had a combined 13 errors in the two games.
   "Our fielding is hurting us," Bulldog coach Kevin Urbach said. "We're working on our fielding, but part of it is knowing where to go with the ball."
   Urbach said some of the fielding miscues are an outgrowth of all-state pitcher Tiffany Adams graduating.
   "Last year, Tiffany overpowered teams and we didn't have to work very hard for some of our wins," Urbach said. "It's different this season. Our pitchers (Sarah O'Gorman and Evangeline Hood) are good pitchers for where they are in their development, but they're not where Tiffany was."
   Culver's pitchers and fielders have plenty of challenges this week.
   Bad weather did wipe out a scheduled game against Blanchet on Tuesday, April 22.
   The Bulldogs travel to Salem Academy on Thursday. The Crusaders (5-4) enter this week a game directly behind Culver in the league standings.
   The Bulldogs also host second-place Scio on Tuesday, April 29.
   Kennedy 19, Culver 1: A 3-1 game turned ugly when the visiting Trojans scored 10 runs in the third inning of the Tuesday, April 15, game. Kennedy had 10 walks during the game in addition to the 12 hits.
   "That team could very well be playing in the state finals," Urbach said. "They saw where we were in the standings, so they were ready for us."
   Santiam 6, Culver 5: One run in the ninth inning wasn't enough for Bulldogs in Thursday's game.
   Lindsay Meeks was hit by a pitch to lead off the ninth. After two outs, Delta Symons drilled a run-scoring triple. Then an infield out ended the inning.
   After two outs, the host Wolverines (1-6) turned a double, error, single and another error into the winning runs.
   The loss spoiled a solid pitching performance by O'Gorman who struck out eight.