State's top pitchers in North Medford invitational

The Rogue Valley will play host to some of Oregon's top softball pitchers on Monday and Tuesday, including one of its own.

North Medford's Maryssa Becker, Glencoe's Katie Sutherland-Finch and South Salem's Katie Donovan — all committed to compete at NCAA Division I schools — will be on display during the 36-team North Medford Spring Break Invitational.

Lincoln's Courtney Huston (Auburn) and Roseburg's Makinna Akers (Boston University) add to the showcase of strong arms.

Sixty games featuring squads from Class 4A to 6A will be played U.S. Cellular Community Park, North Medford High and Grants Pass High.

Three prime-time matchups will take place at North Medford High on the first day of round-robin action. A rematch of last year's 6A championship game between the defending champion Black Tornado and South Salem is set for 10 a.m. Becker, a senior who is bound for Louisville, tossed a four-hitter with 15 strikeouts to help defeat the Saxons 3-0 in the 2012 state final.

South Salem is led by Donovan, a junior who has committed to Utah. Her squad will face Glencoe two hours after challenging North.

At 2 p.m. on Monday, Glencoe and North square off at North Medford High. On Tuesday, the Black Tornado will go on to play Southridge at 10 a.m. and West Salem at 2 p.m. at North Medford High.

Sutherland-Finch, a senior who signed with California, is the Crimson Tide's ace. Glencoe, which lost in the state quarterfinals last spring, returns seven starters. Junior shortstop Courtney Clayton (who has committed to Portland State) and freshman second baseman Macy Besuyen are two of the squad's top hitters.

The Saxons' roster includes four other players who are college bound: junior second baseman Kelly Burdick (Washington), senior shortstop Kelsie Gardner (Portland State), senior first baseman/catcher Raina Reece (Concordia) and senior right fielder Rachel Polacek (Lee University, Tenn.).

Local schools Crater, South Medford, Grants Pass, Eagle Point, Phoenix, North Valley and Hidden Valley will also be in the invite.


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