Winning the Southern Cascade League title seemed like a pretty bold goal this spring considering the recent history of the Cascade Christian...
CENTRAL POINT — Crater received a solid pitching performance from sophomore Brittany Berryhill but couldn't overcome six errors and some missed opportunities at the plate in a 4-1 loss to South Eugene in a Class 6A play-in game Wednesday at Crater High School.
Berryhill held South Eugene to two earned runs on eight hits while striking out eight, but the visiting Axemen broke through for four runs in the fifth and never looked back.
South Eugene pitcher Ella Leiblein overcame a rough first inning to pick up the win for the Axemen (11-15), who earned a first-round playoff date with South Salem, the No. 2 team in the 6A power rankings, on Monday.
"I think they were ready, but unfortunately we did make some mistakes today that were costly," Crater coach Chris Arnold said. "Offensively, we missed opportunities at the plate to drive in runs. We had baserunners, but we weren't able to come up with the big hit when we needed it."
The Comets (5-21) did manage to break through in the first. Dana Lowder, who went 2-for-4, reached on an error and scored on a single by Alex Craft.
Crater still led 1-0 when the visitors finally got to Berryhill in the fifth. Axemen catcher Callie Silvers-Harnly delivered the key hit, ripping a bases-loaded single to left that was misplayed, leading to two South Eugene runs. That gave the Axemen the lead for good, 2-1, and they added to it on Shaida Mardane's RBI single.
Silvers-Harnly was 2-for-3 with a walk and a run, and Sydney Bowers 2-for-3 to pace South Eugene.
Leiblein held Crater to one run on five hits while striking out five in the complete-game effort.
Arnold said Berryhill was solid in the circle, but didn't receive enough run support.
"(Berryhill's) young, but she wanted the ball and she wants to get better," Arnold said. "Down the road, that's going to be beneficial for us as these kids get more game experience."
South Eugene 000 040 0 — 4 8 4
Crater 100 000 0 — 1 5 6
Leiblein and Silvers-Harnly; Berryhill and Doggett. W — Leiblein. L — Berryhill (3-9). 2B — SE: Henshaw; C: Lowder.
NORTH MEDFORD 4, CRESCENT VALLEY 3, 8 inn. — At Corvallis, pinch runner Isaiah Luzny scored on a Crescent Valley fielding error and Micah Brown and Christian Gillis homered for North Medford in nonleague action.
Luzny scored from third base after a pickoff attempt at first in the top of the eighth inning. The Crescent Valley catcher dropped the ball on the throw home.
Chris Hoppe tied the game at 3 with a two-out, two-strike home run in the bottom of the seventh for Class 5A Crescent Valley (21-6).
The Black Tornado (22-4) scored three runs in the third on Brown's two-run homer and Gillis' solo shot.
David Crofton improved to 9-0 after pitching a four-hitter with nine strikeouts and two walks. Jordan Ragan picked up the save after relieving Crofton in the eighth.
North Medford 003 000 01 — 4 5 1
Crescent Valley 000 002 10 — 3 4 2
Crofton, Ragan (8) and Zavala; Sanders, Thompson (3), Smith (6), Conklin (8) and Kinkade. W — Crofton (9-0). L — Conklin. 2B — NM: Zavala; CV: Conklin. HR — NM: Gillis (1), Brown (2); CV: Hoppe.
HENLEY 3, CRATER 2 — At Klamath Falls, Willy Howard's go-ahead single drove in Drew Seater from second base with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning for Henley in nonleague action.
Tyler Aplin's RBI double plated Ty Plankenhorn in the third inning and Blake Fahndrich's single in the sixth scored Taylor Tibbets and gave the Comets a 2-0 lead.
The Class 4A Hornets evened the game in the bottom of the sixth.
Fahndrich went 2-for-2, Ty Fox 2-for-3 and Tibbets 2-for-4 with two doubles for the Comets (21-6).
Jon Guzman had two hits and two RBIs for the Hornets (25-1), whose only loss this season came against Ashland on April 8.
Crater 001 001 0 — 2 8 4
Henley 000 002 1 — 3 9 1
Bastendorff, Pearce (5), Fahndrich (6) and Caballero, Aplin (6); Guzman, Overstreet (3), Hilyard (4) and Hilyard, Howard (4). W — Hilyard. L — Fahndrich (0-1). 2B — C: Aplin, Tibbets 2; H: Guzman. HR — H: Guzman.