Winning the Southern Cascade League title seemed like a pretty bold goal this spring considering the recent history of the Cascade Christian...
All the South Medford softball team had to do to solidify third place in the Southern Oregon Hybrid and a state playoff berth was beat Crater — a winless squad in league play — one time in a doubleheader on Saturday.
The Comets had other plans.
Crater (5-19, 2-10 SOH) snapped a 13-game losing skid with a 5-4 win in the opener, then denied the Panthers (8-13, 3-9) their desired postseason spot with a 2-1 triumph in Game 2 at South Medford High School.
South finished fourth in the SOH and must compete in a state play-in contest. The top three teams from the conference automatically qualify for the 32-team playoff bracket.
"Crater has had a tough season, but they did a great job today and we didn't execute in a couple spots when we needed to," South Medford head coach Miranda Gillespie-Smith said. "Crater obviously came out and played the best they have all season."
Simone Smurzynski's two-run home run in the top of the sixth inning broke the Comets out of a scoreless Game 2.
South Medford cut Crater's lead to 2-1 on Hannah Newman's RBI single that brought home Tia Garrett. Newman's run-scoring hit might have resulted in two runs, but Rachael Moore was caught leading off third base too far and was picked off on a close call prior to Newman's hit.
The Comets' Brittany Berryhill locked up the sweep by retiring the side in order in the bottom of the seventh. She went all seven innings, allowing one run, five hits and one walk and adding four strikeouts.
Berryhill's counterpart, Panthers' freshman Pat Moore, allowed six hits and three walks and struck out four.
In the opener, Abbi Pearce's two-out, two-run double in the top of the seventh put the Comets in control as they completed their comeback from three runs down.
South got off to a quick start with three runs in the bottom of the first, highlighted by back-to-back RBI doubles from Newman and Sara Gartlan.
Berryhill induced three straight pop-ups in the bottom of the seventh to complete the Comets' win. She went the distance and allowed four runs — one earned — on five hits and three walks. She also fanned six.
Moore lasted all seven innings and surrendered three earned runs on eight hits and four walks to go with 11 strikeouts.
Crater 001 011 2 — 5 8 2
South Medford 300 010 0 — 4 5 2
Berryhill and Doggett; P. Moore and Garrett. W — Berryhill. L — Moore (8-11). 2B — C: Pearce; SM: Newman, Gartlan.
Crater 000 002 0 — 2 6 0
South Medford 000 001 0 — 1 5 1
Berryhill and Doggett; P. Moore and Garrett. L — Berryhill. L — P. Moore (8-12). 2B — C: Lowder. HR — C: Smurzynski.
NORTH MEDFORD 7-12, ROSEBURG 5-0 — At Roseburg, Katie Ramsay's two-run single in the bottom of the ninth inning kept North Medford's unblemished Southern Oregon Hybrid record intact in Game 1 before the Black Tornado breezed to a five-inning shutout and secured a 12-0 record in SOH play at Stewart Park.
With the bases loaded, Ramsay doubled to left to plate both Joci Ellis and Grace Jovanovic to break a 5-all tie.
North Medford needed Keisha Williams' two-run double in the top of the seventh in order to force extra innings. Her two-out shot to center field drove in Jovanovic and Cassie Campbell to rally the Black Tornado (23-1, 12-0 SOH) and knot the score at 5-apiece.
Jovanovic went 5-for-5 while Ellis, Williams, Ramsay and Alexis Barkwell each added two hits.
In Game 2, the Black Tornado, scored six runs in the top of the fifth. Barkwell did not allow a hit in two innings, earned her second win of the day and improved to 20-1.
Ellis scored three runs and Williams two. Ellis, Williams, Ramsay and Christina Kuykendall all had a pair of hits.
North Medford 003 000 202 — 7 15 1
Roseburg 000 230 000 — 5 9 3
Barkwell and Ramsay; Martin and Conklin. W — Barkwell (19-1). L — Martin. 2B — NM: Williams, Ramsay, Jovanovic. HR — R: Rollins.
North Medford 321 06 — 12 13 1
Roseburg 000 00 — 0 3 6
Barkwell, Thomas (3) and Ramsay; Martin, Roberts (3) and Conklin. W — Barkwell (20-1). L — Thomas. 2B — NM: Jovanovic; R: Wyscaver.
EAGLE POINT 11-14, ASHLAND 0-0 — At Eagle Point, Teanna Gonsalves and Megan Aires each pitched a five-inning, one-hit shutout as Eagle Point completed a three-game sweep of Ashland in their 5A District 4 series.
Eagle Point (13-11, 3-0 Dist. 4) advances to the postseason with a 5A play-in game on Friday.
In the opener, Gonsalves (8-8) struck out four and Emily Jeffries paced the Eagles' offense with three hits and three RBIs. Aires collected two hits, including a solo home run.
Gianni Pippa-Baker got Ashland's lone hit with a second inning single.
Aires (5-3) struck out seven in the nightcap. Anay Philpott singled in the third for the Grizzlies' only hit. Ashland (4-16, 0-3) will not qualify for the 5A postseason.
Gonsalves contributed two hits and three RBIs and Kaya Hoag went 3-for-4 with two RBIs to spark the Eagles.
Ashland 000 00 — 0 1 5
Eagle Point 115 4x — 11 10 1
Lemphe and Texiera; Gonsalves and Shopp, Grady (5). W — Gonsalves (8-8). L — Lemphe. HR — EP: Megan Aires (3).
Ashland 000 00 — 0 1 2
Eagle Point 1(10)3 0x — 14 11 0
Hayes and Texiera; Aires and Shopp, Grady (3). W — Aires (5-3). L — Hayes. 2B — EP: Gonsalves. 3B — EP: Leeper.
MAZAMA 8-17, NORTH VALLEY 7-11 — At Klamath Falls, Mazama wrapped up its Skyline Conference schedule with a sweep.
Taryn King went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, Kasey Werner 2-for-4 and Emily Allen 1-for-4 with two RBIs for North Valley (11-13, 6-6 Sky) in the opener.
Kady Kantola finished 3-for-3 with three RBIs and three runs scored, Abi Kite 3-for-4 with four RBIs and Jennifer Staten 2-for-4 with two runs against Mazama (15-9, 9-3) in Game 2.
North Valley 020 400 1 — 7 9 4
Mazama 020 023 1 — 8 8 3
Allen and Kite; Wortman and Allred. W — Wortman. L — Allen. 2B — NV: Allen, Kantola.
North Valley 402 050 0 — 11 10 5
Mazama (10)00 241 x — 17 12 1
King, Allen (1) and Stark; Allison and Allred. W — Allison. L — King. 2B — NV: Kite; M: Wortman 2.
HENLEY 26-10, HIDDEN VALLEY 0-0, 5 inn. — At Murphy, first-place Henley (22-3, 12-0 Skyline) swept last-place Hidden Valley (1-23, 0-12) to wrap up league play.
Southern Cascade Hybrid
LAKEVIEW 18-4, CASCADE CHRISTIAN 5-14, 5 inn. — Cascade Christian's Rebekah Ratcliff and Allison McMahon both had home runs for Cascade Christian in Southern Cascade Hybrid action at North Medford High.
Lakeview's Rachel Leal had an inside-the-park home run in the opener.
Raleigh Weaver finished the first game with three RBIs and Ratcliff had two RBIs and two runs scored for the Challengers.
In the second game, Cascade Christian (2-16, 1-8 SCH) jumped out to a 10-run lead in the first inning.
McMahon had four RBIs and three runs and Alaina Thomson added two RBIs and two runs against the Honkers (12-10, 6-2).
Lakeview 072 27 — 18 18 0
Cascade Christian 300 20 — 5 6 4
Brooks and Leal; Thomson and Ratcliff. W — Brooks. L — Thomson. 2B — L: Alves, Leal, Hadley; CC: Weaver, Martin. 3B — L: Arcularius, Larson. HR — L: Leal; CC: Ratcliff.
Lakeview 020 02 — 4 11 0
Cascade Christian (10)00 31 — 14 15 6
Brooks, Ramsey (2), Brooks (5) and Leal; Thomson and Ratcliff. 2B — CC: Ratcliff, Weaver. 3B — L: Crumrine; CC: A. McMahon. HR — CC: A. McMahon.