Athletic directors at the Class 5A level have proven to be the most invested in controlling their own playoff destiny since a switch to the...
GRANTS PASS — The top-ranked North Medford softball team suffered a rare disappointment on Wednesday, falling 2-1 to Southern Oregon Hybrid foe Grants Pass in nonleague action.
The Black Tornado (24-2) — which had an 18-game winning streak snapped — will next host Sunset in the first round of the Class 6A state playoffs on Monday.
Grants Pass (12-14) will play at Westview.
North had not lost to a league opponent since May 5, 2011, when it fell to Crater.
Stephanie Norrick, who got on base on one of North Medford's two errors, scored the winning run after Nicole Godwin was walked with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seven inning. A one-out solo home run by Danielle Taylor in the fourth tied the game at 1.
North's Joci Ellis tripled to open the game and scored on a passed ball.
Prior to Norrick scoring, Godwin and Taylor Thomas were walked and Halee Rose reached on an error and stole second base.
Winning pitcher Amy Robinson tossed a four-hitter with seven strikeouts and one walk.
Alexis Barkwell allowed five hits and four walks and fanned six.
Maryssa Becker finished 2-for-3 for North.
North Medford 100 000 0 — 1 4 2
Grants Pass 000 100 1 — 1 5 2
Robinson and Stevens; Barkwell and Williamson. W — Robinson. L — Barkwell (10-1). 2B — NM: Becker; GP: Godwin. 3B — NM: Ellis. HR — GP: Taylor.
SHELDON 16, NORTH MEDFORD 2, 5 INN. — Sheldon scored 15 runs in the third inning in nonleague action at North Medford High.
Micah Brown hit a two-run double in the bottom of the fifth inning for North Medford, which was held to five hits and committed five errors. Troy Fowler and Taylor Raff scored the runs.
The Irish (22-4) recorded 12 hits, including a three-run triple by Mike Ralston, and sent 19 batters to the plate in the third inning.
North (21-6) hosts David Douglas in the first round of the playoffs on Monday.
Sheldon 00(15) 10 — 16 16 0
North Medford 000 02 — 2 5 5
Alie, Ralston (4) and Stiles, McDaniel (4); Westfall, Gillis (3), Crofton (3), B. Pearson (3), Brown (5) and Zavala. W — Alie. L — Gillis (1-1). 2B — S: Stiles, Herbert; NM: Brown. 3B — S: Ralston.