Friday’s doubleheader may have been off to a rough start, but the Pendleton girls hit their stride to end their season opener on a high note.

At La Salle Prep, the Bucks dropped their first of two games 2-1, but returned to claim the next one 8-4 in an extra inning.

“There were a lot of positives to take away from the day,” said coach Tim Cary, “especially since we’ve only been outside for two days. It was nice to see us battle in the latter part of the (last) game. I thought we improved on things throughout the entire day.”

Senior Marissa Lillienthal scored the Bucks’ lone run off a sacrifice fly from senior Maria Medrano to pull ahead 1-0 at the top of the first. The Falcons knotted the score the same inning, and not another run was scored until the bottom of the seventh.

With Bucks junior Sami Spriet at the mound and La Salle senior Abby Maben on first, Spriet walked the next two Falcons hitters, pushing Maben to third. A sacrifice fly on the next at-bat sent Maben home to win the game.

“It was a pretty good pitcher’s duel,” Cary said. “It was an exciting game, but we didn’t get many hits — seven is not bad, but not great for us. We still had an opportunity to win, even though we weren’t terribly sharp.”

Lillienthal led the first game, batting 1-for-2 with one RBI.

The Bucks cruised through the first five innings of game two ahead 3-0 until the Falcons took over with four runs in the sixth.

Pendleton tied the score in the seventh at 4-4 to send the game into an eighth inning, and that was where senior Kirah McGlothan rose to the occasion.

The right fielder had already recorded a solo home run in the first inning, and cleared all three bases in the eighth with a double. She made it home on a single on the next pitch to finish off the win.

“Kirah was on fire today,” Cary said.

McGlothan led game two, going 4-for-5 at bat and notching a home run, a double, two singles, and five RBIs. Soloman matched McGlothan at 4-for-5, and also posted three singles and a home run in the fifth inning.

Pendleton (1-1) returns home on Tuesday to play La Grande at 4 p.m.

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