Crook County hands Pendleton their first loss of the season in the second game of their doubleheader on Saturday

by: LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Kaitlyn Duncan slaps teh ball toward third in the first inning of Crook County's doubleheader with Pendleton on Saturday.  The Cowgirls lost game one 7-0, then came back to win the second game 3-1 to give Pendleton their first loss of the season.

The Crook County High School softball team split a doubleheader with Pendleton over the weekend, giving the Buckaroos their first loss of the season.
   Pendleton won the first game 7-0, while the Cowgirls bounced back to take the second game 3-1.
   "I am really happy with how the girls finished today," said Head Coach Tom Decker. "They pitched strong and they played together."
   In the first game Pendleton limited the Cowgirls to just two hits. Cowboy pitcher Kelsey Casey allowed only six hits, but two Cowgirl errors and a couple of walks combined with timely hits by the Buckaroos led to the loss.
   "We just couldn't get our bats going, and it seemed like we were just a little off," said Decker. "They are a good team and we just weren't clicking on all cylinders."
   In the second game Bre Crakes limited the Buckaroos to four hits. Pendleton got on the board first with a run in the first inning, but the Cowgirls responded with three runs of their own in the bottom of the first.
   From then on the Cowgirls used stellar defense to keep the Buckaroos off the scoreboard and hold on for the win.
   "I thought that Crakes pitched a great game and I have to give Santana Reece a lot of credit too, because she is calling all of the pitches," said Decker. "And the rest of the team played great defense. We had zero errors and had some absolutely fantastic double plays."
   Reece led the Cowboy hitters with a double in the second game.
   "Oh she hit it a ton," said Decker.
   With the split the Cowgirls are 12-5 overall and 3-2 in the Intermountain Conference while the Buckaroos are 13-1 and 3-1 in league.
   "All in all it was a big win for us," said Decker. "We obviously want to play better than we did in that first game. I thought we almost gave their baserunners some bases and we are going to work on that a little bit. There is always stuff you can work on, but I'm pleased. After that first game the girls could have just shut down, but these kids don't do that. They find a way to make things happen."
   Crook County travels to Bend for a 4:30 p.m. start on Tuesday, then play Summit also on the road on Friday.
   "There are no weak teams in the IMC," said Decker. "We've got Bend that we can't overlook on Tuesday and Summit who is always tough on Friday."
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