By Frank Marksman
For the Independent
The Eagle Point High School softball team was eliminated from the state 5A playoffs Friday afternoon in Bend, losing to the Lava Bears 6-3.
The Eagles put together the first threat of the day when they loaded the bases in the 2nd inning and only one out. Mekinzee Merrill drew a walk, Karly Tolen beat out a bunt single, then Kayli Meerten reached on a Bend error. Unfortunately, a strikeout and a pop up ended the inning.
The Bears scored in the bottom of the inning when, with runners on first and third, they attempted a double steal. The Eagles retired one runner at the plate, but a throw to pick off the second runner sailed into the outfield and allowed her to score.
Eagle Point responded in the top of the 3rd. Emily Jeffries singled to lead the inning off and was sacrificed to second by Paige Leeper. Brianna Shopp beat out an infield single and Merrill drew another walk to again load the bases. Karly Tolen’s single to right scored Jeffries and Shopp. Merrill scored on a Bend error and the Eagles led 3-1.
Unfortunately, that lead didn’t hold up. With two out in the bottom of the inning, Eagle Point errors allowed the next two batters to reach base, and both scored to tie the game. Bend took control in the bottom of the 4th inning with four hits wrapped around yet another Eagle miscue, they made five errors on the day, to score three more times. Neither team generated any threat after that.
Merrill, in her final game as an Eagle, was the losing pitcher, despite giving up only two earned runs. She finished 8-10 on the season. Jeffries and Tolen each had two hits for Eagle Point, which finished with a record of 13-13.