Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hailey girls nail down 6-1 win at Preston

Great Basin weekend twinbill

Express Staff Writer

After last Wednesday's disappointing home rain-out in a winnable league game against the Minico Spartans, the Wood River High School softball team needed a couple of clean, well-played games as a pick-me-up.

They had to travel four hours, but the Wolverines found those games in Preston Saturday, April 11. There, Wood River and Preston split an excellent Great Basin Conference twinbill—Hailey winning 6-1 and then falling 4-3.

Senior pitcher Samantha Engel (5-4 season, 27-25 career) threw a two-hit masterpiece for the 6-1 win in Saturday's opener. She whiffed 10 and walked only one. Wood River's defense made only one error.

Wood River coach Dale Martin said, "It was a well played game. Engel pitched a gem and didn't allow an earned run. We had some key hits, too."

Engel also drove home two runs to spark Hailey's five-hit attack. Taylor Gove (2 hits, 1 RBI) and Angela Coleman (RBI double) contributed at the dish.

In the nightcap, Wood River (7 hits) rallied for three runs in the sixth and took a 3-1 lead—only to have Preston push across a single run in the home sixth and the winning runs, both unearned, in the seventh.

Engel (10 K, 2 BB, 3 hits) pitched well again. She yielded only one earned run and five hits in 13-plus innings for the day, with 20 whiffs and three bases-on-balls. Catcher Alex Lindbloom cracked a big two-run double for the Wolverines.

Martin said, "It was a well-pitched game and both teams played well. We made two mistakes in the bottom of the seventh that gave them two unearned runs and the victory.

"I feel we're making progress. We just need to play games."

Wood River (5-4, 1-0 league) has its home-and-home with Jerome starting today, Wednesday, April 15, at Jerome. The home game with Jerome is set for Thursday, April 16 at 4 p.m. at South Valley Sports Complex, Hailey.

The Great Basin West doubleheader with Jerome (9-3-1, 1-1 league) opens a season-ending string of 12 scheduled games in 14 days for Hailey. The Century Diamondbacks, a 7-6 home winner over Wood River March 13, come to Hailey Saturday, April 18 for 11 a.m. games.

Wood River visits Burley (11-3-1, 1-1) on Tuesday, April 21 and hosts Burley April 28. In between, the Wolverines visit Skyview Friday, April 24 for two games and go to Twin Falls on Saturday, April 25 for a pair.

Burley, Wood River's opponent in last May's Great Basin West title game won by the Wolverines, has the inside track on the top league spot with its 12-2 and 18-5 doubleheader sweep Saturday over Bishop Kelly in Boise. Burley was due to visit Minico (0-13, 0-1) Tuesday in Rupert.

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