A funny thing happened to Terry Rasmussen on his way toward retirement as a basketball coach.
First, he was pulled back in to serve as...
The North Medford softball team claimed its fifth straight Southern Oregon Hybrid title with a 4-3 win over second-place Grants Pass at North Medford High on Tuesday.
The Black Tornado (19-1, 10-0 SOH) overcame an early one-run deficit and kept the Cavers at bay late to earn its 17th straight victory.
Joci Ellis' RBI single to left field brought home Christina Kuykendall and gave North the go-ahead run in the bottom of the fourth inning.
"You set goals along the way and a conference championship is typically one of them, and the kids did a nice job of securing that today," North head coach Mike Mayben said.
Taylor Thomas scored on a Black Tornado fielding error in the top of the first.
North responded in the third when Kuykendall hit a leadoff double and came home on a Grants Pass error. With the bases loaded, Alexis Barkwell then pounded a two-run single to left-center field.
The Cavers tied things up at 3 in the top of the fourth when Taylor scored on a wild pitch and Jadyn Lenard hit a sacrifice fly that plated Amy Robinson.
But Grants Pass (17-7, 9-3) didn't threaten in the final three innings, and the Black Tornado executed a double play to end the contest.
Barkwell finished 2-for-3 and Ellis 2-for-3 with an RBI and run scored.
"Our kids showed composure," Mayben said. "They got a lead on us and the kids didn't press."
Barkwell improved to 16-1 after throwing a four-hitter with four strikeouts and three walks. Robinson tossed a seven-hitter with seven strikeouts and two walks.
Grants Pass 100 200 0 — 3 4 3
North Medford 003 100 x — 4 7 1
Robinson and Stevens; Barkwell and Ramsay. W — Barkwell (16-1). L — Robinson. 2B — NM: Barkwell, Kuykendall.
MAZAMA 19, ASHLAND 9 — At Ashland, Gianni Pippa-Baker was 2-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs to lead Ashland, but the Grizzlies sabotaged their own chances by committing nine errors in the nonconference contest.
McKenna Read (2-for-4, two RBIs) and Teresa Lehman (2-for-5) also came through at the plate for the Grizzlies (4-14), but Mazama used a nine-run seventh to pull away. Only eight of Mazama's runs were earned.
Brittani Stocke was 2-for-5 with four RBIs and two runs and Diane Miller 2-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs for Mazama (13-9).
Mazama 002 233 9 — 19 14 1
Ashland 006 010 2 — 9 10 9
Wortman and Allred; Williams, Lenthe (7) and Teixiera. W — Wortman. L — Williams (4-10). 2B — M: Wortman, Miller; A: Pippa-Baker 2, Read, Rodrigues.
HENLEY 6, PHOENIX 2 — At Talent, Phoenix junior pitcher Bailee Tally struck out six in one of her better outings of the season but Henley clinched the Skyline Conference crown with its 16th straight victory at Hagler-James Park.
Hornet starter Kelly Scott struck out seven and blanked the Pirates through six innings.
Phoenix tallied two runs in the seventh on freshman Faith Ham's two-out, two-run single that scored Amanda Skaff and Tally.
Skaff had two singles for Phoenix, which finished the season 7-17 overall and 3-9 in league.
Tara Moates collected a pair of doubles for Henley (20-3, 10-0 Sky) and McKenna Armantrout smacked a solo home run in the seventh.
Henley 220 000 2 — 6 10 1
Phoenix 000 000 2 — 2 6 2
Scott and Armantrout; Tally and K. Maclennan. W — Scott. L — Tally (6-9). 2B — H: Moates 2. HR — H: Armantrout.
NORTH VALLEY 22, HIDDEN VALLEY 8 — At Murphy, Jennifer Staten finished 4-for-5 with a grand slam and five RBIs for North Valley in Skyline Conference action.
Kasey Werner was 3-for-6 with two RBIs and two stolen bases, Abi Kite 2-for-2 with a two-run home run, Kady Kantola 2-for-4 with three RBIs and Cindy Clarke 2-for-5 with two RBIs for the Knights (11-11, 6-4 Sky).
Elena Bragg went 3-for-5 and Annabelle Perdue 2-for-4 for Hidden Valley (1-21, 0-10).
The two squads combined for 17 errors.
North Valley 415 321 6 — 22 19 8
Hidden Valley 140 201 x — 8 7 9
Staten, Allen (2) and Stark, Kite (3); Lawson, York (7) and Bragg. W — Allen. L — Lawson. 2B — NV: Staten. 3B — NV: Mohr, Kantola, Kite. HR — NV: Staten, Kite.
PROSPECT-BUTTE FALLS 15, UVC 3, 5 inn. — At Prospect, freshman Katie Munsell tossed a one-hitter with nine strikeouts and finished 2-for-2 with a two-run double for Prospect-Butte Falls (19-2) in nonleague action.
Alee Pinkerton went 2-for-3 with a three-run double for the District 4 champions, who have won eight straight.
Munsell allowed seven walks against Umpqua Valley Christian (0-17).
Umpqua Valley Christian 012 00 — 3 1 5
Prospect-Butte Falls 441 6x — 15 10 0
Reeves and Perez; Munsell and Thomasson. W — Munsell (1-0). L — Reeves. 2B — P-BF: Pinkerton, Munsell.