It’s an experiment that has true benefit and merit, but also one with a big hill to climb before permanent implementation throughout...
GIG HARBOR, Wash. — In a battle of two Gatorade softball players of the year, Maryssa Becker and North Medford came out on top.
The Black Tornado senior pitcher — who was Oregon's player of the year last season — guided her squad past Washington player of the year Madi Schreyer and Woodinville 3-2 in eight innings at Gig Harbor High on Saturday.
North downed Gig Harbor 5-0 later that day in the nonleague meeting behind a dominant effort in the circle by Alexis Barkwell, a junior transfer from California.
In the matchup of future NCAA Division I hurlers — Becker is committed to Louisville and Schreyer to Stanford — it was Becker's squeeze play in the top of the eighth inning that scored Joci Ellis (who began on second base in accordance with the international tie-breaker rule) and put the Black Tornado (10-1) ahead 2-1 with one out. Becker then stole second and was brought home on Katie Ramsay's double to left-center field.
Woodinville, which is ranked ninth nationally by MaxPreps, could only manage a single run in the bottom of the eighth. After the home team drew within one with two outs, Becker recorded her 14th strikeout to end the contest. She allowed three hits and no walks against Woodinville.
Schreyer — who led the Falcons to an undefeated season last year with a 21-0 record and 0.28 ERA and who is a member of the Canadian Junior National team — was also strong, tossing a six-hitter with 13 strikeouts and two walks.
"We felt like we set ourselves up well to play tough competition all the way around during the break," said North head coach Mike Mayben, whose squad was coming off a 3-1 showing at the North Medford Invitational. "We've had some quality games (and) we're learning a lot about ourselves."
Ramsay was 2-for-4 in the opener for North, ranked 13th nationally by MaxPreps. Emily Jackson went 2-for-4 with an RBI for Woodinville.
Against Gig Harbor, Barkwell fanned 16 and gave up just four hits and no walks. Ramsay finished 1-for-3 with three RBIs and a run scored, Keisha Williams 2-for-3 and Katie Williamson 1-for-2 with two runs. Ellis stole a pair of bases.
North Medford 001 000 02 — 3 6 2
Woodinville 000 100 01 — 2 3 0
Becker and Williamson; Schreyer and Boyd. W — Becker (5-1). L — Schreyer. 2B — NM: Ramsay, Jovanovic; W: Jackson, Schreyer.
North Medford 200 003 0 — 5 7 1
Gig Harbor 000 000 0 — 0 4 1
Barkwell and Ramsay; Hitt, Riggs (6) and Malich. W — Barkwell (5-0). L — Hitt. 2B — NM: Barkwell.
BANDON 13-7, ILLINOIS VALLEY 2-4 — At Cave Junction, Lander Nordal hit an RBI triple and two-run double for Illinois Valley in the nonleague doubleheader.
Nordal drove in Mason LaFlamme in the first inning with his triple in Game 1, while his two-run double in Game 2 trimmed the Cougars' deficit to three runs with one out in the bottom of the seventh.
Mychal Yarbor threw a four-hitter with nine strikeouts and no walks in five innings in the opener for Bandon (5-2).
Illinois Valley's Eric Miller had two hits in Game 1. LaFlamme and Nordal tallied two hits apiece in the second game for Illinois Valley (3-7).
Bandon 342 22 — 13 15 1
Illinois Valley 101 00 — 2 4 2
Yarbor and Garrett; Miller, Nordal (4), Andrews (5) and Housel. W — Yarbor. L — Miller (0-1). 2B — B: Yarbor, Martino, Shamloo. 3B — IV: Nordal.
Bandon 021 031 0 — 7 6 3
Illinois Valley 200 000 2 — 4 6 2
Coomer, Undell (7) and Garrett; LaFlamme, Andrews (6) and Housel. W — Coomer. L — LaFlamme (0-2). 2B — IV: LaFlamme, Nordal.