The Eastside High School softball team continued its region dominance with a shutout four-inning win against Luella Tuesday. Due to the high school mercy rule, the Eagles grabbed the win after going up 12-0 early.
The Eagles put the pressure on Luella early, striking out three in a row in the first inning. Eastside then answered with a seven-run inning, using its entire rotation before even the second out was called.
The Eagles’ defense kept the pressure on throughout the night, only allowing three at bats in the next two innings and four in the fourth.
“We’ve been in these situations throughout the season,” Eastside Coach Heather Wood said. “I told them not to underestimate this team, because they’re battling right now for the third seed. It’s between them and Salem, so I thought they would come out with more fight, more intensity. They had more on the line than we do, so we spoke with them before to stay focused.”
Eastside’s Molly Moon pitched all four innings and nearly came away with a no-hitter until the Lions tallied a hit in the very last inning, compared to Eastside’s 13.
“She threw great for us, and she’s been consistent throughout the season,” Wood said. “It was another good game for her.”
Six Eagles walked to first base in Tuesday’s game due to the Luella’s pitching. Wood emphasized that Eastside still tries to remain focused on scoring no matter what type of pitching it faces.
“That’s one thing we’ve learned throughout our region based on the pitching that we’ve seen,” she said. “The best thing we can do is just be patient. There’s things that we can work on even though we’re not facing the best pitching every single game, so patience is one thing we really try to drill in them throughout the season.”
With knowledge that they’ll be the No. 1 seed in the 4-AAAA region tournament beginning next week and with senior night a couple days away, the Eagles were able to go deep into the dugout during the game.
“We tried to give everyone playing time today, but also, the reason I made a couple big changes is just to get ready for senior night,” Wood said. “I’m trying to find a way to work in all seniors, so we tried them in a couple of different positions, and it just worked out with this game. We were able to get runs on the board early to try out a couple players in different positions.”
The Eagles will play their final regular season game at home against Salem on Thursday for senior night before the region tournament kicks off on Oct. 4.