PENDLETON - The Pendleton softball team continued their best start in recent memory with two wins in the Pendleton/McLoughlin Tournament Monday. The Bucks blasted Yamhill-Carlton 10-0 in the first game of the tourney, and manufactured another five in the last game of the day to beat Willamina 5-0.
Sophomore Alex Hillmick one-hit Yamhill-Carlton to get the win and classmate Kelli Demianew was just as impressive, one-hitting Willamina in her second win of the season.
The Bucks raised their record to 7-0, the best since coach Tim Cary has been at the helm.
"Right now we have something pretty special going and we're excited about it, but then again we're just staying within ourselves," Cary said. "It's preseason and we're still playing a lot of people. We're just hoping we can keep working on things and keep what we have going."
In other tournament action Monday it was: Willamina 13, Riverside 5; Yamhill-Carlton 6, Riverside 4.
Though the Bucks pounded out 11 hits with four doubles and a triple in their first game of the day, it took them until the fifth inning to really take off. After scoring one in the fourth on a Hillmick single, the Bucks exploded for nine in the fifth off nine straight hits.
"They were all legitimate hits, too," Cary said. "The bats finally came alive, it just took us a while."
Cary said the fact that the girls are on their spring break showed in the morning game.
"It's a different set up when there's no school. They sleep in too long and I think the morning game was a pretty good example of that," he said. "But so far I can't complain."
The second game saw the Bucks take a different approach to putting up runs.
With two outs in the first, senior Shanna Treloar singled to the gap between first and second base, then stole second before being brought home by a Steffane Oles double - their only extra-base hit of the game.
Then in the second, again with two outs, Cree Enright singled, then went to third on a Leini Alger single down the first-base line. Alger proceeded to take second, and both girls were brought home by a stinger off the handle of Stephanie Breshears' bat that fell safely to the grass in right field.
In the third inning, Treloar singled again, then stole second and third before scampering home on a passed ball. Oles followed her with a walk and also stole second, then moved to third on the same passed ball Treloar went home on. She scored on a sacrifice fly by Tia Smith to right field.
With Demianew hurling a no-hitter to that point in the game, the Bucks were able to rely on their defense to shut out the win. A flawless performance in the field maintained the shutout even after the no-hitter was broken up in the top of the sixth on a Jessie Bowman double to the wall in right center.
Demianew said she wasn't concerned for the no-hitter, and simply wanted to get the game over with as daylight faded fast.
"All I think about is, 'OK, batter: try to get ground balls, strike them out,' " said Demianew, who struck out eight. "I just kept thinking, 'I'm getting tired, let's just get this over with.' "
The Bucks were back in action early today, with all games of the tournament being played in Milton-Freewater. Riverside and Mac-Hi also had a pair of games scheduled for this morning and early this afternoon.