For North Medford, Tuesday’s euphoric feeling at the end of a softball game seemed to take a while, and for good reason.
It’s been a month since the Black Tornado returned the key to batting to complete a competitive battle, but they were scattered throughout in a decisive 8-7 win over visiting Grants Pass in North Medford High.
“We finally came out the other side of a one-point game for a change,” North Medford coach Chris Campbell said of a mixture of joy and further relief. “It was really good to see.”
The pinnacle of the Southwest Conference victory, which ended a five-game losing streak for the Black Tornado (10-13, 4-9 SWC), came from an appropriate source in the hitter n °9 Anna Gates. The senior second baseman had already reached base twice on hard-hit balls to shortstop, which led to errors and ultimately led to her scoring a pair of runs for North.
Given another chance to help her team stem their fall in the bottom of the seventh, Gates proved herself up to the challenge.
Alexis Wadley, lined up in the fourth inning, singled to open the seventh and qualified for second base when rookie Caileigh Raines walked one out. After a wild pitch from Grants Pass senior Sarah Martin that put the runners in second and third, the Cavers (10-14, 6-7) opted to intentionally step on freshman rookie Kayleigh Brousseau to put set up a force play at any base.
With all eyes on her, Gates delivered a hot shot to third baseman Ellie Berg, whose home throw was high and too late to deny a hard-charging Wadley.
“Anna worked hard this week on her swing and put the ball in play without trying to overdo it,” said Campbell, whose team had already lost two one-point games against GP. “They had the infield and Anna hit a good hard shot at third baseman and she kinda missed it. (Wadley) broke really well on the ball and is a fast runner, and she really went hard in the plate for us. She saw the ball drop and took off and did a really good job getting home.
The clutch efforts sparked a long-awaited celebration for North Medford, which beat last-place South Eugene on April 26 but had otherwise gone 0-for-9 since an April 9 sweep at Roseburg.
“It was just a good, solid team effort,” Campbell said, “and it just showed the girls what they can do if we put on a full game. Their abilities will take them far if they just believe in themselves and compete on all terrains.
That belief was challenged early on as Grants Pass built a 7-2 advantage early in the fourth set, but Campbell said his team’s determination was capable of winning and the Tornado were rewarded in of a crucial fifth-inning flurry.
“The girls just didn’t give up,” Campbell said. “We lost 7-2 and we kept talking about ‘Chip away, chip away. We don’t need all of them, just one or two, whatever we can get to put the pressure back on and start building momentum to see if we can’t come back and get the win.
After Gates and Rhyan Hamlin each safely reached Cavers errors, Samara Miles scored home the first innings from the frame and Hamlin then scored on a passed ball. With one out, Alyssa Hartzheim singled for her third RBI of the game. Wadley followed with her first hit after being slotted into the lineup, and junior Araseli Guerrero ripped up a two-run triple that ended in another home plate play beaten by Wadley.
“We tried to find kids who want to compete and Araseli stepped up last week against Sheldon, so we gave her another chance today,” Campbell said of the rarely used designated forward. “Hitting is contagious and by then a few girls had been hitting and she just followed suit with what the others were doing.”
Miles went 3-for-4 and North had two hits apiece from Hartzheim and Wadley, while Gabbi Urban came on as relief from Hartzheim to claim the pitching victory with a four-inning effort that included scoreless frames over the course of the last three rounds.
Martin and Harry; Hartzheim, Urban (4) and Brousseau. W — Urban. L-Martin. 3B – NM: Guerrero.
ROSEBURG 3, MEDFORD SOUTH 0: In Roseburg, Kirsten Morgan and Maleyah Thoele generated the only hits for South Medford as the third-ranked Panthers took a half-game lead in the Southwest Conference with the loss on the road.
Kami Gibson struck out seven and scored one on two hits for Roseburg (11-12, 7-6 SWC), who scored twice late in the first inning to take control of a two-run brace by Haleigh Wamboldt.
South Medford (20-4, 11-2) ran out of runners on second and third in the third after a two-out rally, and had a similar setup in the seventh after Maddy Fullenwider and Nicole Ledendecker reached base with a takedown before Gibson escaped. the final jam with a groundout and a strikeout.
Hudson, Knutson (5) and Hillyer; Gibson and Stribling. W-Gibson. L—Hudson. 2B—R: Blix, Wamboldt.
CRATER 10-9, EAGLE POINT 0-10: At Eagle Point, Alexis Perez threw a three-hitter shutout and Abby Foster broke a solo home run on Crater’s five-run third inning in Game 1 to help the Comets clinch the Premier League title. Midwest.
Eagle Point managed to salvage a double split and tied for second with Thurston with two games remaining.
The Comets (18-6, 13-1 MWL) won Game 1 in five innings under the 10-run leniency rule. At the last drink, Eagle Point (16-8, 10-4) rallied in the sixth to win.
Perez allowed five hits with two walks and two strikeouts in Game 1, and Lilli Reid hit a two-run single to extend the Comets’ lead to 7-0 in Game 3. She went 2 for 3 with three RBIs, Alyssa Kilbane went 3 for 3 and Kaylynn Wolchok was 2 for 3 and scored twice.
After a one-out single from Baylee Mullen of the Eagles brought Jocelyn Hanan home to tie the score at 9 in Game 2, Jovianna Marshall picked Hailey Waldon for the go-ahead in the bottom of the sixth. Hanan had reached base with a first walk and advanced on a brace from Waldon.
Eagle Point’s Sydney Boren hit a solo homer in the first inning and went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, while Mullen and Marshall each went 2-for-3.
Kilbane went 4-for-5 with two runs and an RBI for Crater, while Abby Foster was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and Maddie Sheadel went 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI.
Perez and Reid; Smith and Nielsen. W — Perez (7-3). L-Smith. 2B — EP: Boren. HR-C: A. Foster.
Allen, S. Foster (2), and Reid; Smith, Lierman (5) and Nielsen. W—Lierman. L—S. Foster. 2B-C: Kilbane, Van Wey; EP: Waldon. HR-PE: Boren (6).
MEDFORD SOUTH 6, ROSEBURG 1: At Roseburg, South Medford used a five-run fifth inning to open the Southwest Conference game and lift the seventh-placed Panthers even to the top of the league standings with No. 10 Roseburg at 10 -3 each.
Tosh Stupenhaus and Cameron Sewell opened the fifth with singles and Jace Miller followed with an RBI double. Three-walked Tanner Douglas kept the scoreboard moving with a triple RBI and back-to-back singles from Elijah Havey and Carson Joe gave the Panthers plenty of cushion (18-3).
Joe allowed three hits with four strikeouts and two walks in an all-game effort for South, which also saw Cameron Sewell go 3-for-4 against the Indians (16-7).
South of Medford0000510—690
Joe and Havey; Corbin, P. Burke (6) and Knox. W-Joe. L-Corbin. 2B—SM: Miller; A: Hubbard, Dunn. 3B-SM: Douglas.
SUBSIDIES PASS 12, NORTH MEDFORD 6: North Medford gave up five runs in the top of the second set and could never recover as Grants Pass triumphed in the Southwest Conference contest.
Taholo Vainuku-Johnson hit a two-run homer in the big second inning for the Cavemen (12-11, 6-7 SWC) and added a two-run single in the fifth to extend their lead to 10-3. The senior went 3-for-5 with five RBIs and two runs scored, with Luke Morgan also going 3-for-5 with four runs scored.
Trey Newmann and Colton Morgan had each scored singles runs in the first and seventh innings, respectively, for the Black Tornado (10-12, 4-7). Newmann, Morgan and Johnny King all had two hits, and Davis Carr drove in two runs.
Baker, Osborne (7) and Osborne, Carnes (7); King, Carr (3), Havens (7) and Newberg. W — Baker. L- King. 2B — GP: Baker. HR – GP: Johnson.
ST. MARY’S 5, CHRISTIAN WATERFALL 2: Alan Gomez’s two-run single in the bottom of the sixth broke a 2-run deadlock and No. 9 St. Mary’s beat top-ranked rival Crosstown and Cascade Christian to open the key three-game series of this week.
St. Mary’s (13-6, 6-4 FWL) scored four runs to regain the lead after Cascade Christian (18-4, 8-3) took a 2-1 lead in the top of the sixth on a Liam single Benade RBI. Ean Lawrence, who doubled to start the rally, scored the tying run on a wild pitch before Gomez put the Crusaders in front with a single down the right field line. Gomez scored the last run of the inning on a Cascade pitch error.
The Challengers previously tied the game at fifth on Jack Knips’ single.
Three St. Mary’s pitchers – Beau Aldrich, Travis Johnson and Eli Haynes – limited Cascade Christian to just four hits. Aldrich allowed one hit and retired four of four shutout innings, while Johnson pitched 2 2/3 innings, allowing an unearned run and three hits with four strikeouts. Haynes, who also had a pair of hits and a key catch in the outfield, came in and saved the endgame to get the save.
Thompson, Stofflet (6) and Wallace; Aldrich, Johnson (5), Haynes (7) and Lawrence. W-Johnson. L-Thompson. S- Haynes. 2B — SM: Laurent.
Andy Atkinson/Mail TribuneAlexis Wadley of North Medford slides safely into home plate to tie the game in the fifth inning on Tuesday.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneEmily Dunn of North Medford reaches to make a catch for an out during the fourth inning.
Andy Atkinson/Mail TribuneAraseli Guerrero of North Medford connects for an RBI triple in the fifth round against Grants Pass.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneNorth Medford’s Alyssa Hartzheim makes the catch for an out at third base in the fourth inning.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneAlexis Wadley of North Medford falls to the plate to score the winning run late in the seventh inning against Grants Pass.