HILLSBORO — Hermiston’s Paige Long dueled with Glencoe pitcher Katie Sutherland-Finch for as long as she could Wednesday in the Dawgs’ first of two softball games at Hillsboro Stadium. She could only keep the Class 6A giants scoreless for so long, though.

Glencoe broke through in the bottom of the seventh inning, stringing three of its five hits together to score and squeak by Hermiston 1-0. Sutherland-Finch had held the Bulldogs not only without a run, but without a hit as well.

Hermiston didn’t let the tough pitcher stick in its mind. The Dawgs had another game to play. They pounded Liberty for 12 runs, seven coming in the seventh inning, to split on the day after a 12-3 victory.

“Their attitudes were great, everybody was positive,” Hermiston coach Kylee Nichols said of her team headed into Game 2.

Long threw both games for Hermiston (7-5), finishing seven innings in both. She was starting to show signs of fatigue in the second game, but overcame those to finish it out.

After the tough-luck loss in Game 1, Nichols said it was important for her to have the chance to pitch again.

“Paige threw an outstanding ball game. She had nothing to hang her head about,” the coach said.

In the first game, the Dawgs got their best scoring chance against Glencoe (8-1) in the top of the first. Allie Rude struck out, one of Sutherland-Finch’s 12 K’s in the contest, but advanced to first on a passed ball. She’d steal second and third but was stranded there.

The Dawgs would fall behind early to the Falcons (7-5) in the night cap after Liberty scored twice in the bottom of the first but soon the hitting show started. Hermiston had 13 hits total, including three each from Abi Drotzmann, Kylee Andreason and Mikaela Cain.

Columbia River Conference season is up next for Hermiston, unless the school can add one more preseason contest to its slate. The Dawgs have 10 days between the double-dip in Hillsboro on Wednesday and their first league matchup, a doubleheader with The Dalles Wahtonka at home April 13, and would like to play another softball game to break up the long layoff.

Nichols is targeting Tuesday as a potential slot to add a game.

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