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Softball team welcomes "Uncle Lee's Fields"

With a new facility to bring them confidence and pride, the Cowgirls gave defending IMC champion Hermiston a scare Saturday
Other than for a chill in the air, it seemed like the perfect day to dedicate the CCHS softball team's "Uncle Lee's Fields."
   The new facility, built in memory of long-time CCHS supporter Lee Rhoden and equipped with a fenced-in field, covered dugouts and a colorful sign, has brought pride and confidence to the squad, virtues they showed in the form of two solid performances against Hermiston Saturday.
   The Cowgirls fell just 1-0 to the defending IMC champions in game one of the doubleheader and dropped a 5-3 contest in game two.
   "They actually showed up to play. I was very proud of them," said head coach Kevin Wooldridge. "That's the way I know they can play when they want to."
   The main battle for the Cowgirls the entire weekend was the pitching of the Bulldogs. Adrian Herman pitched a one-hitter for Hermiston Friday in the Bulldogs' 10-0 win against the Cowgirls and pitched a three-hitter for game two Saturday, a game in which she was perfect going into the bottom of the seventh.
   "She's definitely one of the best pitchers in the league and we stuck right in it," Wooldridge said of his team's performance Saturday.
   But as pitching was the strength of Hermiston, so too, it was for Crook County. Joy Childress gave up just one run and fanned five batters in game one, while Emily Hancock threw a complete game for the Cowgirls in game two, giving up just two runs in the first six innings.
   Complementing the pitching was the Crook County defense, which didn't produce any errors the first game of the doubleheader.
   "The main thing I wanted to get out of this weekend was for them to get their confidence level up as they head into the rest of league," Wooldridge said.
   Nicole Kludt, Hanna Kriege and Childress scored runs for Crook County over the weekend, while Childress combined for two hits in the outing and Candace Cooley, Kludt and Chelsea Hallet each contributed singles.
   With the setbacks, the Cowgirls move to 3-9 on the year, 0-3 in the IMC.
   Crook County will see action once again as they travel to Mtn. View High School Thursday to take on the Cougars in a 4:30 p.m. IMC matchup. With the Cowgirls looking to compete for one of four playoff positions this season, Wooldridge explained that every game is a crucial one.
   "With that fourth playoff spot, it's going to be a shootout for state, so all of these games are going to be tough," he said.