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Eastside rolls past Luella in region tournament
Kailey Rusk at bat in Eastside's region tournament game against Luella. - photo by Mariya Lewter

The Eastside High School softball team rolled to an easy 15-0 victory against the Luella Lions in the first round of the region tournament Tuesday.

The Eagles entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed, qualifying them to play the fourth seed. In Eastside’s previous matchup with the Lions, the team went home with 12-0 mercy-rule win after four innings, and this game was not much different,

“We’re fortunate that we were able to play the fourth seed,” said Eastside head coach Heather Wood. “When the first and fourth seed play each other, that helps us get out in front. Really our main focus is getting ready for the region championship.”

The Eagles got on the board early, scoring six runs in the first inning and using their entire batting rotation before the inning retired. Luella’s starting pitcher for the game walked six Eagles in the inning, making Eastside’s two hits appear to be more than enough to help get them to home plate.

The Lions switch out their pitcher in the second inning and finally grabbed a strikeout during the first appearance, but the Eagles hit three times in a row during the next three at bats, with Molly Moon’s hit leading to two runs.

After another scoreless inning for the Lions, the Eagles packed on the runs again in the bottom of the third, scoring seven on seven hits. After the seventh run, the umpires called the game, and the Eagles walked away with the victory in just three innings.

Starting pitcher Lauren Beshears had a great night on the mound, pitching a no-hitter and notching seven strikeouts.
“I felt like Lauren put us in a position to win today,” Wood said. “I felt like we were able to make those routine plays, so of course that helps, and of course our bouts came through for us. I think any time we’re hitting, that puts less pressure on the defense, so they play a little bit more relaxed, so overall I think it all came together today.”

The Eagles will move on to the region championship Wednesday to fight for the No. 1 seed at 7 p.m. at home.

“I think we are prepared,” Wood said. “We’ve been waiting for this all season, and we understand how crucial this is for us for the following week in postseason. It’s important for us to secure that No. 1 seed. I think we’re ready.”