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Cowgirls defeat Sisters, LaPine

Crook County dominates in non-league victories

by: LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Bre Crakes pitches against LaPine on Thursday.  Crakes was the wining pitcher against LaPine, and got a save on Wednesday against Sisters.  In six innings pitched so far this year Crakes has not given up a run.

The Crook County High School girls softball is 2-0 after picking up two big wins this week to open the season.
   On Wednesday against Sisters with two outs in the seventh inning and the Cowgirls leading 11-3, senior right-fielder Mantana Reece made a full sprint towards the fence and dove for a fly ball, sliding part way through the fence and injuring her knee.
   "It was a tremendous effort on her part," said Head Coach Tom Decker. "What a courageous thing she was trying to do there. She's a huge part of our team and not just because she's a good player. It's her personality. We need to get her back and we are all concerned about her."
   The hustle that Reece showed was something that the entire Cowgirl team showed throughout the game.
   Casey George started things off for the Cowgirls, scoring in the first inning to give Crook County an early lead, but Sisters answered in the bottom of the inning. Then in the fourth inning the Cowgirls scored three more runs, and once again Sisters answered this time with two runs of their own in the bottom of the inning.
   "We just couldn't get away from Sisters," said Decker. "We were a little jittery when we first came out. Then in the sixth and seventh inning our bats got hot and we started ripping the ball."
   The Cowgirls shut down the Outlaws for the rest of the game and scored seven runs in the final two innings for the final 11-3 margin.
   Kelsey Casey was the winning pitcher going five innings and scattering four hits and giving up three runs. Bre Crakes came on in relief in the sixth and pitched two solid innings allowing only two hits and no runs for the save.
   George and Sydney Waite were the offensive stars of the night with George going 3-4 from the plate while Waite was 4-5 with five RBIs. All together the Cowgirls had 16 hits on the night while giving up just six.
   "We ran the bases extremely well," said Decker. "We were heads up and forced Sisters into making some throwing mistakes. I was really pleased with that."
   Then on Thursday the Cowgirls came out strong against LaPine, scoring seven runs in the first inning in route to a 14-4 win in five innings.
   Bre Crakes was the winning pitcher while Emily Gannon came on in relief and struck out 10 batters to get the save.
   Kaitlyn Duncan was 2-2 at the plate, stole three bases, and scored three runs. Waite was hot at the plate again, going 3-4 with a double and her lone out was a long drive against the wind that was caught against the center field fence.
   "I didn't think that we ran the bases as well as we did on Wednesday," said Decker. "We were a little tentative. We still have some things that we need to work on, but overall I'm pleased with how we have started the season."
   The Cowgirls will get a better test of how good they really are on Tuesday, March 18, when they play a home double-header against North Medford beginning at 2 p.m.
   "Not to take anything away from Sisters or LaPine, but North Medford will give us a better idea of where we are as a team," said Decker.