GRANTS PASS — North Medford senior Jordan Neathamer made timely contributions on offense and defense and the Black Tornado opened a key week of games with a tough 5-3 victory over host Grants Pass in Southwest Conference softball Tuesday.
Neathamer’s two-run single in the third inning capped a three-run frame that allowed North Medford (12-0, 5-0 SWC) to build a 5-1 advantage. She then came up big to help squash a comeback bid by the Cavers (8-4, 2-3) in the sixth when she teamed up with senior first baseman Ashley Ripplinger and senior catcher Jovanna Salvador for a relay that resulted in throwing out a runner at home plate to preserve the Tornado’s cushion.
“Jordan had a really big day for us,” said North Medford head coach Mike Mayben. “She has come up with some big hits for us all season. We have a really deep lineup this year and she’s an exceptional hitter to have in the 8-hole.”
“In the sixth,” he added, “Jordan made a great play in right field where she got the ball in really quickly and Ashley made a really nice relay to home plate where we had her by about two steps.”
North pitcher Rylan Austin struck out eight, walked three and allowed eight hits to earn the win. After Taelor Mayben led off the game with a double and scored on a single by Alex Barry, Austin had a one-out single to give her team a 2-0 edge.
It was 2-1 when Austin scored on a passed ball and then Neathamer brought home Ripplinger and Mahal Miles with her two-out single to right field.
Marissa Eilenberger doubled and scored on a single by Devin Ireland to pave the way for a potential GP rally but after Jordan Kuykendall singled, the Cavers rolled the dice and tried to pull within one run on Maddie Naylor’s single but came up short on a nice play by the Tornado.
In the seventh, Austin got two quick outs before an infield single by Brooklyn Hurd and walk to Skyler Padgett made things interesting. The junior then struck out Eilenberger to end the threat.
On Saturday, North Medford will host crosstown rival South Medford in a key SWC doubleheader beginning at noon.
Austin and Salvador; Etheridge and Kuykendall. W — Austin (9-0). L — Etheridge. 2B — NM: Mayben; GP: Eilenberger. 3B — GP: Padgett.
SOUTH MEDFORD 13, SOUTH EUGENE 3, 6 inn.: At Eugene, Pat Moore pitched a two-hitter with 14 strikeouts and six walks, and Lexi Jones went 3-for-3 with a run for South Medford in the SWC contest.
The Panthers (7-3, 4-1 SWC) got started with a two-run single by Bailee Tatum in the first inning.
Moore was 2-for-3 with three runs, and Jaden Alexander was 2-for-3 with two runs.
South Eugene is 2-7 and 2-5.
Moore and Tatum; Clark and Gonenne. W — Moore (7-3). L — Clark. 2B — SM: Jones. 3B — Woods.
BONANZA 21, BUTTE FALLS 2, 5 inn.: At Bonanza, Butte Falls pitcher Katie Munsell got three hits but re-injured a muscle in her right leg and the Loggers could not play the scheduled second game of the District 4 doubleheader.
Hanna Kuykendall added one hit and one RBI for Butte Falls (4-1, 2-1 Dist. 4).
Munsell and Kuykendall; Anderson and Cunningham. W — Anderson. L — Munsell
2B — BF: Munsell. HR — B: Pitcock, Dirk
NORTH MEDFORD 8, GRANTS PASS 3: Sophomore pitcher Ryan Sandoval had a strong outing for North Medford and also contributed at the plate in the SWC home victory.
Sandoval improved his record to 2-0 on the season with an 85-pitch, five-strikeout performance. He also had two hits and one RBI.
North Medford (8-5, 4-2 SWC) answered two runs by Grants Pass in the top of the first with four in the bottom half of the inning
Quinton Rumrey opened with a single for the Black Tornado and walks to Brandon King and Justin Geyer loaded the bases with one out. Tyler Seney scored a run on a slow groundout, then Wyatt Baptiste blasted a two-run double. Sandoval followed with a single — plating what proved to be the winning run.
North Medford’s Kasey Buchanan and Baptiste also had two hits apiece.
For Grants Pass (8-4, 3-2), Cameron Castle and Tyler Rund each collected two hits.
King, Crume (3) and Padgett; Sandoval and Geyer; W — Sandoval (2-0). 2B — NM: Baptiste 2
CHURCHILL 3, EAGLE POINT 1: At Eugene, Brock Townsend had a no-hitter for 6⅔ innings before Eagle Point put together back-to-back hits but came up short in Midwestern League play.
Townsend, last year’s Class 5A pitcher of the year, struck out 11 for Churchill (11-1, 6-1 MWL).
Eagle Point (6-5, 4-3) broke through in the seventh when Dylan Marsh reached on a two-base throwing error and Charles Little ripped an RBI double. Bennett Rogers followed with a single to put runners on first and third, but Townsend got his final strikeout to end the game.
Shopp and Little; Townsend and Trivett. W — Townsend. L — Shopp (1-1). 2B — EP: Little; C: McKee, Moore.
ST. MARY’S 17, LAKEVIEW 5, 5 inn.: St. Mary’s seniors Daniel LaFond and Travis Danielson each had first-inning home runs as the Crusaders used a 12-run first inning to pull away in the Southern Cascade League win at St. Mary’s High.
Danielson finished 3-for-3 with a solo homer in the first and a two-run home run in the fourth for three RBIs overall, while LaFond’s homer was a two-run shot for St. Mary’s (6-3, 1-0 SCL). Calder Pruhliere was 2-for-3 with three RBIs, Bryce Bramscher 3-for-4 with one RBI and Ben Robinson 2-for-4 with one RBI for the Crusaders.
David Arcularius was 2-for-3 with two RBIs for Lakeview (3-8, 0-1).
Summers, Shullanberger (2), Arcularius (4) and Douglas; Letendre, Danielson (5) and Arevalos. W — Letendre (4-0). L — Summers. 2B — L: Arcularius, Brazeal; SM: Robinson, Bramscher 2, Savage. HR — L: Arcularius; SM: Danielson (3), LaFond (1).