The gnome watches, the girls win again

By ADAM LAPIERRE

News staff writer

April 29, 2006

The lucky gnome watches from a distance in the dugout, spreading his good fortune to all who rub his tiny gold hat and red knapsack.

The wee little man with the grand white beard, chubby cheeks and pointy black shoes is short and fragile, sensitive and a little bit rugged. He is a traveler, a cheerleader and a guru of sorts. And he is the lucky object of affection for an impressive team of young ladies.

This spring, the auspicious little mascot has indeed brought good fortune to his constituents.

Of course, at 16-1 overall and 9-0 in the Intermountain Conference, the Hood River Valley High School varsity softball team has proved to be far beyond lucky this season. The previously-underrated team of Eagles battled this week to a 5-0 victory over their closest IMC competition, Pendleton (12-5, 7-2), leaving the No. 6 ranked Hood River girls with little threat left in the IMC. In nine league games, the Eagles have won seven shout-outs, allowed only one team (Summit) to touch home plate against them and averaged 10.3 runs a game to outscore their opposition 93 runs to five.

After dousing Summit’s undefeated IMC streak last weekend in Bend with 9-4 and 17-1 victories, the Eagles hosted the league’s then second place team, Pendleton, on Tuesday. The 5-0 win makes it 15 in a row for the Eagles, who are now ranked sixth in the state at the 4A level.

Stefanie Draper pitched her 10th and perhaps best victory of the season against the Buckaroos. With 14 strikeouts and zero walks, Draper gave up only two hits in the seven innings of play. Solid defensive backing from the field gave the senior pitcher another shutout to her credit as well.

Offensively, Chelsey Elliott scored first for the Eagles in the first inning of an RBI double by Brianne Rowley. Draper then batted Rowley in to give the girls a 2-0 lead after the first inning.

After the first inning, Draper, Friend and the fielders teamed up to retire the next six innings worth of batters without giving up a single hit.

In the second inning Lindsey Smith took the easy route to first with a walk. Rochelle Friend nailed a shot to centerfield, which nailed the Buckaroo fielder and fell to the ground, allowing Smith time to round the bases and score.

The Eagles scored two more in the fourth after Sarah Wood and Kate Blumenthal reached second and third base by a hit-by-pitch, a sacrifice fly and a single. Elliott smacked a double to bat in both Wood and Blumenthal before the Buckaroos could end the inning.

The gnome and company hosts Crook County today for a double-header against the Cowboys (2-7 in the IMC). Action starts at 1 p.m.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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