Eagles alone at the top in GVC and CA
College of the Siskiyous met a foe that was not easily dispatched March 25 in Redding, but the Eagles prevailed twice to gain the upper hand in the Golden Valley Conference standings and solidify their hold on the No. 1 spot in the state rankings.
Siskiyous and Shasta were both undefeated in conference play at the start of the day, and it wasn’t until the final out was made in game one that it became clear who would grab the early season edge.
Eagle star Jackie Imhof and Shasta’s Cierra Rovera locked arms in a good old-fashioned pitching duel that ended with Siskiyous on top 1-0, thanks to a fourth inning home run to straightaway centerfield by Ali Paz.
Imhof allowed just 2 hits in the seven inning game, struck out 8 and walked none. Rovera allowed 3 hits, struck out 12 and walked none. The Eagles committed no fielding errors; Shasta just one.
Head coach Doug Eastman, whose team has been dominating most of its opponents while building a 28-2 overall record, said the 1-0 win showed they can win close games too.
Shasta came close to taking Imhof deep and tying the score, but Eastman said leftfielder Shawna Mayo reached over the fence to catch Brooke Downs’ deep fly ball and preserve the shutout.
Paz, a sophomore shortstop from Roseburg, Ore., also hit a home run in game two at Shasta, a 6-2 Eagle victory that induced a lot less nail-biting.
Eastman said Paz usually figures out even the best pitchers she faces by the second or third time she faces them. Shasta, he said, continued to go “right at her” and paid the price.
The Eagles got a bead on Rovera in game two, scoring 4 runs on 5 hits in 4 innings before Shasta called on Karma Rice to pitch the final three frames. She allowed 2 runs on 6 hits.
Paz, Katie Zauner, Cheyanna Ohlrich and Nikki Kemper all had two hits apiece for the Eagles in the nightcap, and Zauner, Ohlrich, Brittnee McNeely and Carlene Morgan each had a double.
A couple of Shasta’s hitters, Becca Valenzuela and Brooke Downs, figured Imhof out in the second game and both hit solo home runs. But even with a little less than her best stuff, Imhof allowed just 2 runs on 4 hits in 6 innings while striking out 7 and walking just one. Jordyn Brown pitched a scoreless seventh inning to earn a save.
Imhof improved her overall record to 18-1. Rovera fell to 12-4.
Siskiyous and Shasta are scheduled to meet again in their GVC finales April 18 in Weed.
More about the Eagles will be included in the April 1 print edition of the Weed Press, Dunsmuir News and Mt. Shasta Herald -- or try our new e-edition at: http://mountshasta.ca.newsmemory.com/