Softball bats sluggish in pair of setbacks

HOOD RIVER — All has been quiet on the homefront thus far for the HRV softball team.

The bats have yet to come alive and, because of it, the Eagles find themselves in an early-season hole, with losses in their first two games at Westside Field.

“We just need to put the bat on the ball,” said coach Phil Hukari, whose team registered just one hit Friday versus Evergreen in a 5-0 loss, and two hits Monday versus Putnam in a 5-2 loss.

“We’d like to get our offense going in bunches, and not so spread out,” he said.

Hukari said the defense also needs to be more consistent if the team is going to remain in close games.

“We improved a lot from the first game, but we had too many mistakes to stay in the game,” he said. “You can’t win against the top teams when you give them runs.”

One of the bright spots has been the pitching of junior Lauren Gaulke, who has shown good velocity and variation of pitches in the early going.

She may have to hold down the mound for a few weeks while the team’s other pitcher, freshman Talia Hinman, recovers from elbow soreness.

“It kind of hurts to do everything,” said Hinman, who batted as the designated hitter Friday. “I could go, but this is a long season and I don’t want to make it worse.”

Hinman, the team’s starting shortstop and a potential run producer, is frustrated with the injury but believes in her teammates.

“I play with a lot of these girls in ASA and I know they can hit the ball,” she said.

HRV will look to get into the swing at today’s home Jamboree.

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