Showing much improvement from the start of the season, the all-frosh Eagle team won two of its last three games and has its sights set on more wins beginning with a doubleheader against Butte April 5.
Showing progress in the field and at the plate, an all-freshman College of the Siskiyous' softball team won two of three games after snapping an 11 game losing streak March 23 in Eureka.
Strong pitching from Katelyn Bauman and some timely hits – including a 3-run home run by Mount Shasta's Sammy Reed – helped the Eagles split their Golden Valley Conference doubleheaders March 23 at Redwoods and March 25 at Lassen.
Now with 3 wins in conference and 6 overall, the Eagles are scheduled to conclude their season with 8 home games in a row beginning April 5.
Siskiyous lost its opener at Redwoods in Eureka, 4-2, then won game two, 3-1.
For the day, Bauman allowed just 6 hits in 13 innings while striking out 15 and walking 4.
First-year head coach Jon Cox said Redwoods scored its only run in the second game on a dropped fly ball in the first inning. Bauman, from Spokane, Wash., went on to retire 15 batters in a row and led the offense with 2 hits and a run batted in.
Down 4-2 in game one, Cox said the Eagles loaded the bases with 2 outs in the fifth inning, but didn't score.
Mandee Pope of Cottonwood went 2 for 4 with a double, RBI, and steal.
Taylor Castro of Salem, Ore., singled, drove in a run, and was hit by a pitch twice.
"It was a good sign for us to bounce back and win the second game," said Cox.
It was their first win since taking the nightcap of their GVC-opening doubleheader March 8 at Butte in Oroville.
Going into their doubleheader in Susanville March 25, the Eagles were 2-8 in conference, while Lassen was 6-4.
In the opener, Cox said the Eagles missed scoring opportunities when two runners were thrown out at the plate. The "out" call on a squeeze play "could have gone either way," he said.
Siskiyous lost, 2-1, then won game two, 4-1, thanks to a 4-run rally in the third inning that featured Reed's 3-run homer.
The rally started with singles by Carrie Watson of Yreka and Pope. Castro was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Melanie Tennis of Tracy, Calif., singled to drive in a run, then Reed hit what Cox described as a "no-doubt-about-er" home run.
"It was good for Sammy," Cox said. "She had been struggling a little; she broke out of a her slump and, with one swing of the bat, gave us an opportunity to win. Hopefully, it will help build her confidence."
Lassen loaded the bases with one out in the seventh inning before Bauman sealed the win by getting the game's final two batters to pop out and ground out.
Bauman allowed 8 hits in the game, walked 1 and struck out 4.
The Eagles had 10 hits, 2 each by Reed, Pope, and Tennis.
Cox said his team's performance in Susanville was "much better" than two weeks earlier when they were swept by Lassen, 3-1 and 5-0, in Weed. "And we faced their same two pitchers who shut us down that day," he said.
Siskiyous went into that weekend after losing two to conference-leading Shasta College, 8-0 and 4-1, on Friday, March 22.
In the opener, facing former Mount Shasta star Kayla Spini, the score was tied 0-0 until Shasta scored 3 runs in the bottom of the fifth "on some timely hits and some luck," Cox said.
When Shasta scored 5 more runs in the bottom of the sixth, the game ended by the mercy rule.
"We battled the whole game; to go that deep against the top team in league helped our confidence," Cox said.
The Eagles took a 1-0 lead in the first inning of the second game in Redding, but three solo home runs by Shasta were the difference.
"We played well defensively; they just beat us," said Cox.
With their final eight games all scheduled to be played at home, Cox said, "We're hoping we can continue the momentum and finish the season strong. I think we can win 4 or 5 more games if we keep on doing the basic things well."
Early in the season, with a team that features several players who hadn't played softball in more than a year, Cox said defense was a problem. Now, "our defense is much better," he said. "We're better with the fundamentals, and we're making the routine plays. We're striving to be competitive in every game. A goal we have is to have an opportunity to win or tie every game with one swing of the bat in the last inning."
Shasta leads the league with a 10-0 record, followed by Feather River at 7-3, Lassen (7-5), Redwoods (3-7), Siskiyous (3-9) and Butte (2-8).
The Eagles are scheduled to host Butte Friday, April 5, beginning at noon, then host Feather River the following day at noon.
Shasta is scheduled to play at Siskiyous April 10.