COLLEGE PLACE - Walla Walla University maintained a 3-2 lead over Eastern Oregon into the seventh inning in the nightcap of their twin bill here Sunday, looking to overcome the Mountaineers following game-after-game of frustration.
But one of the Wolves' five errors in the game helped EOU score the go-ahead run in the top of the seventh, and the Mountaineers left town with two more victories over WWU, 5-3 and 4-3.
Eastern Oregon opened the first game much like the Wolves are used to, scoring its five runs in the first two innings. WWU chipped away at the 5-0 lead with a solo run in the second inning and two more in the fourth, but couldn't overcome the early deficit.
In the nightcap, the Wolves turned the tables on the Mountaineers with three runs of their own in the first. Eastern Oregon put two runs on the board in the third, but the teams played into the seventh with WWU leading, 3-2. That's when an errant toss allowed EOU runners at second and third to score.
Despite the losses, WWU coach Mike Jemenez is optimistic with the Wolves' play early this season.
"They started like they always do against us, scoring early," Jemenez said of the Mountaineers. "But it was different this time. We're usually done after the first two or three innings of these games, but now we're competing all seven innings of these games.
"The girls battled every inning, and we were able to almost fight our way back (in the opener)," he said. "There were a few innings in the first game where we could have scored a few more runs.
"We had four errors in the first game, and five in the second, that probably cost us three or four runs. But the girls, even in the last inning (of the nightcap) had runners on and a chance to score," Jemenez said. "So, I'll take it, we competed."
The Wolves, now 2-7, travel to Treasure Valley Thursday before playing Boise State's club team Friday.
"I don't think our record indicates how well we're playing," Jemenez said. "We're young, and to compete like this this early is pretty exciting."
EOU 230 000 0 - 5 5 5
WWU 010 200 x - 3 3 4
McDonnell, Hodges (6), Pardue (7) and Salazar. Martinez and Kelsay.
HR - EOU (Woodhead).
Hits - EOU: Woodhead 2, Hughes, Burn, Kountz. WWU: Rojas, M. Jones, Martinez.
EOU 002 000 2 - 4 6 0
WWU 300 000 0 - 3 5 5
McDonnell and Hicks. Pedro, Aka (4) and Jones.
HR - none.
Hits - EOU: Hughes, Buchanan 2, Kountz, Espinoza, Hardman. WWU: Rojas, M. Jones, Martinez, Kelsay, E. Jones.