Winning the Southern Cascade League title seemed like a pretty bold goal this spring considering the recent history of the Cascade Christian...
GRANTS PASS — Maryssa Becker opened the Southern Oregon Hybrid softball season for defending state champion North Medford with a no-hit performance and the Black Tornado swept Grants Pass with a pair of 10-0 victories Saturday.
Becker tossed a six-inning no-hitter in Game 1, then pitched two shutout innings in the nightcap before giving way to Alexis Barkwell, who blanked the Cavers during the remainder of the five-inning game.
Becker (3-0), the Class 6A pitcher of the year in 2012, struck out 12 and didn't walk a batter in the opener.
"Early on (Becker) overpowered them," said North Medford coach Mike Mayben. "She was consistent, stayed focused and threw pitches they couldn't hit hard."
Becker was denied a perfect game when she slipped on Haley Rose's ground ball in the fourth inning that led to the Cavers (1-2, 1-2 SOH) only baserunner.
The Black Tornado (5-0, 2-0 SOH) broke open a close game with an eight-run sixth inning. The nine-hit frame was highlighted with a two-run double by Keisha Williams, a run-scoring double from Michelle Draper and RBI singles by Barkwell, Grace Jovanovic and Maddie Gates.
Barkwell, a junior transfer from San Diego, had two hits and three RBIs, including a solo home run in the second inning.
The Black Tornado also received two hits each from Joci Ellis, Katie Williamson, and Gates.
"We put the ball in play a lot," said Mayben. "The kids made a pretty good adjustment and made better contact than in the first three innings."
In Game 2, Ellis opened the contest with an inside-the-park home run for one of her three hits.
Barkwell also excelled at the plate with a two-RBI single in the third and two-run homer in the fourth.
Becker added a single and solo home run and Williamson and Katie Ramsay provided two hits apiece.
"It was good to play solid softball," said Mayben. "I was proud we played pretty much error-free defense and demonstrated we have good hitters throughout the lineup."
North Medford 010 108 — 10 13 1
Grants Pass 000 000 — 0 0 0
Becker and Williamson; Robinson, Thomas (6) and Lenard. W — Becker (3-0). L — Robinson. 2B — NM: Williamson, Williams, Draper. HR — NM: Barkwell.
North Medford 205 30 — 5 11 0
Grants Pass 000 00 — 0 2 1
Becker, Barkwell (3) and Williamson, Ramsay (3); Robinson, Norrick (2), Thomas (5) and Lenard. W — Barkwell (2-0). L — Robinson. HR — NM: Ellis, Becker, Barkwell.
SOUTH MEDFORD 4-2, CRATER 3-6 — At Central Point, Becca Flora's two RBIs helped South Medford capture the opener, then Allie Winningham provided the key hits in the second game as Crater gained a SOH split.
Flora's run-scoring single in the first inning of Game 1 gave the Panthers (2-2, 1-2 SOH) the initial lead. Flora and Tia Garrett rapped back-to-back doubles during South Medford's three-run third inning.
Crater (1-4, 1-2 SOH) received 11 walks and stranded 14 runners in the loss.
Lauren Estremado had two hits and one RBI for the Comets.
In Game 2, Winningham had a two-run double in the first inning and an RBI single in the fifth.
Also for Crater, Malorie Mitchell collected two hits, scored two runs and had two stolen bases and Katie Britton went 2-2 with a walk and two runs scored.
Comet pitcher Brittany Hassel picked up the victory in relief. Hassel tossed 42/3 innings of shutout ball, with six strikeouts.
Flora knocked in both Panther runs with a two-run double in the third.
South Medford 103 000 0 — 4 5 1
Crater 000 101 1 — 3 4 4
Moore and Garrett; Ryerson and Britton. W — Moore. L — Ryerson (0-2). 2B — SM: Flora, Garrett; C: Craft.
South Medford 002 000 0 — 2 8 2
Crater 300 021 x — 6 8 2
Newman and Garrett; Sheperd, Hassel (3) and Doggett. W — Hassel (1-0). L — Newman. 2B — SM: Flora; C: Winningham.
EAGLE POINT 7, HIDDEN VALLEY 1 — At Eagle Point, Mckinzee Merrill pitched a no-hitter and struck out 10 for Eagle Point in the nonconference game.
The Mustangs' only run came in the second inning as a result of two Eagle errors.
Eagle Point (5-1) had 13 hits, getting two each from Emily Jeffrey, Karly Tolen, Kenzie Nielsen, Neeshaa Garcia-Patterson and Paige Leeper. Jeffrey had two RBIs.
Hidden Valley 010 000 0 — 0 0 3
Eagle Point 131 011 x — 7 13 3
S. Lawson and C. Allen; Merrill and Nielsen. 2B — EP: Tolen.
NORTH VALLEY SWEEPS — At Merlin, North Valley won a pair of nonconference games, beating Glendale 6-3, then topping Illinois Valley 16-1.
In the first game, Abi Kite and Mikala Mohr were each 2-for-3, with Kite driving in three runs and Mohr scoring twice for the Knights (3-3).
In Game 2, North Valley's Kasey Werner was 2-for-4 with a home run and two runs, Mikayla Dart was 2-for-2 and Mohr tripled and drove in a pair.
Pitcher Emily Allen allowed four hits, fanned 10 and didn't walk anyone.
Glendale 003 000 0 — 3 8 0
North Valley 302 001 x — 6 9 0
McGuire and L. Silva; Mohr, Kantola (6) and Stark. W — Mohr (1-0). L — McGuire. 2B — NV: Kite. 3B — NV: Schmoll.
Illinois Valley 000 01 — 1 4 5
North Valley 682 0x — 16 8 1
Mason, Lindell (2) and Augustadt; Allen and Kite. W — Allen (2-2). L — Mason. 2B — IV: Fredrick. 3B — NV: Mohr. HR — NV: Werner.
PROSPECT 14-2, MYRTLE POINT 2-0 — At Myrtle Point, Alee Pinkerton struck out 19 batters in 12 innings, helping Prospect sweep its District 4-opening doubleheader.
Pinkerton had nine strikeouts and one walk in the opener, which was stopped after five innings by the 10-run mercy rule. In Game 2, Pinkerton struck out 10 with no walks and gave up three hits in her first shutout of the season.
The Cougars (3-0) scored the only run they would need in the second inning of Game 2 when Halee Hedgpeth singled, advanced to third on back-to-back stolen bases then scored on a passed ball. In the opener, Marissa Raines was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and three runs and Shawna Creech 2-for-3 with three RBIs and three runs to lead Prospect.
Myrtle Point fell to 0-4.
Prospect 902 30 — 14 4 1
Myrtle Point 000 02 — 2 0 1
Pinkerton and Coble; N. Phillips, Darlorhide (5), Diltmer (5) and J. Phillips. W — Pinkerton (1-0). L — N. Phillips.
Prospect 010 010 0 — 2 4 1
Myrtle Point 000 000 0 — 0 3 1
Pinkerton and Coble; Davis, Diltmer (6) and Cannadayk. W — Pinkerton (2-0). L — Davis. 2B — P: Pinkerton.