North Medford continued its torrid production at the plate to wrap up the Southwest Conference softball season in style with a pair of five-inning victories over Roseburg, 12-2 and 11-0, Friday at North Medford High.
The Black Tornado (24-1, 17-1 SWC) amassed 18 hits in the opener, with seven different players driving in at least one run, and tacked on another 12 hits in only four innings worth of at-bats in Game 2.
“Right now the kids are just dialed in,” said North Medford head coach Mike Mayben. “They’re focused and we’re working hard throughout the week.”
“But I’ll never forget when we had a run like this five or six years ago and (legendary Tornado baseball coach) Jim McAbee reminded me that it’s a game of averages and we also better be prepared to manufacture some runs,” added Mayben. “We’ve just got to stay dialed in because it’s a tough game and you can’t take anything for granted.”
Rylan Austin took care of the bulk of the defense against Roseburg (14-10, 11-7), with the junior pitcher allowing five hits with six strikeouts and no walks in the opener and then giving up three hits with one walk and three strikeouts in Game 2.
North Medford played a game of pick your poison in the opener with balanced contributions throughout the batting order.
Taelor Mayben led the charge by going 4-for-4 with two runs and four RBIs, while Austin was 3-for-4 with one RBI and Courtney Williams went 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs. Mahal Miles and Jordan Neathamer each went 2-for-3 with one run and one RBI, while Alex Barry was 2-for-4 and Olivia Lethlean and Ashley Ripplinger each had one hit, one run and one RBI.
“There’s just some really quality kids throughout the lineup that really helps us,” said coach Mayben.
In Game 2, Ripplinger was 3-for-3 with three runs and three RBIs, Miles went 3-for-3 with one run and two RBIs and Chelby Smalley had a three-run single in the third inning. Lethlean and Barry each had two hits, with Barry scoring three times.
North Medford wraps up its regular season at home on Wednesday in a nonleague game against Crater.
Blevins and Bergman; Austin and Salvador. W — Austin (18-1). L — Blevins. 2B — R: Allen; NM: A. Barry, Mayben, Williams, Austin. 3B — NM: Mayben.
Blevins and Bergman; Austin and Salvador. W — Austin (19-1). L — Blevins. 3B — NM: Lethlean.
CRATER 4-9, EAGLE POINT 2-9: At Central Point, Crater stunned Eagle Point with a pair of come-from-behind victories in Midwestern League action.
Despite the doubleheader loss, Eagle Point (17-6, 13-5 MWL) finishes the regular season in second place in the MWL standings. Crater (12-10, 11-7) will place either third or fourth depending on how Thurston does against Churchill in a twin bill today.
In Game 1, the Comets erased a 2-0 deficit with a four-run sixth inning.
Emily McCollum opened the frame with a double and Presley Robison followed with a single. With runners on first and third, Grace Hilton grounded into an RBI fielder’s choice, stole second and tied the game when Genna Cottini reached on an error.
Cottini was replaced by pinch-runner Ally Plankenhorn, who stole second and scored the go-ahead run on Mackenzie Ryerson’s single to center. Ryerson went to second on a throwing error on the play and scored the final run on first baseman Miyah Smith’s error on a ball hit by Kaila Lee.
Ashley Oppelt had two hits for the Eagles.
In the nightcap, Crater trailed 7-3 before scoring six runs in the sixth inning.
Robison platted McCollum with an RBI single for the winning run then Hilton blasted an RBI triple to give the Comets a 9-7 lead.
For Eagle Point, Samantha Thompson, Gillian Willis, Riley Shopp and Mickala Morris collected two hits apiece.
Joseph had two hits, including a two-run homer in the first inning, and Robison and Hilton each added two hits for the Comets.
Ayres and S. Thompson; Warner and Harris. W — Warner (5-3). L — Ayres. 2B — EP: Thompson; C: McCollum.
Ayres and S. Thompson; Warner, Joseph (5) and Harris. W — Joseph (4-2). L — Ayres. 2B — EP: Smith, Shopp. 3B — C: Hilton. HR — C: Joseph (4).
PHOENIX 19, KLAMATH UNION 4, 5 inn.: At Klamath Falls, Makenna Page led the the Phoenix 14-hit attack as the Pirates completed a sweep of the Skyline Conference three-game series against winless Klamath Union.
Page went 3-for-3 with three RBIs and scored three runs and Brooke Kentner added two hits, two RBIs and three runs. The Pirates received two hits each from Hannah Hague, Taylor Wallack and Abi George.
Phoenix completed the season 4-11 in the Skyline and 6-16 overall. Klamath Union finished 0-19 and was last in the six-school Skyline at 0-15.
Hurd and Bowman; Allred and Martin. W — Hurd. L — Allred. 2B — P: Kentner, Page 2. 3B — P: Wesley, George.
PHOENIX 10, KLAMATH UNION 6: At Klamath Falls, Phoenix rallied with five runs in the top of the seventh inning to secure a spot in the Class 4A play-in round in the Skyline Conference finale.
Brennen Watts singled to lead off the seventh and Dylan Knudson followed with a double. After Mason Stella singled to tie the game at 6-all, Freedom Martinez singled to give Phoenix (14-10, 8-7 Skyline) the go-ahead run. Sam Datz later added a two-run double to highlight the outburst against Klamath Union (3-20, 3-12).
Datz finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs, Chase Courtney was 3-for-3 with two runs and three RBIs, Watts 3-for-3 with two runs and Knudson 2-for-2 with two runs and two RBIs.
Courtney, Martinez (5), Turnbull (7) and Datz; Luce, Taylor (7), Erickson (7) and Walle. W — Martinez. L — Luce. 2B — P: Datz, Knudson, Courtney; KU: Walle, Carter, Corley.
MWL DISTRICT CHAMPIONSHIPS: Ashland’s top-seeded singles player Rox Rogers advanced to the district semifinals and earned a spot in the Class 5A state tournament by not dropping a game in a pair of straight set victories.
Rogers topped Redmond’s Carlos Jauregui and Churchill’s Massimo Brigola to earn a spot in the semifinals, where he will meet No. 4 seed Evan Villano of Marshfield. Villano topped Ashland’s Mathew Montes in the quarterfinals, 6-2, 6-0.
In doubles competition, Ashland’s top-seeded pairing of Owen Dirienzo and Nur Shelton also cruised to the semifinals with a pair of wins, while teammates Henry Cook and Rob Stallman came up short in the quarterfinals. Dirienzo and Shelton dropped a total of eight games in winning both matches in straight sets.
CLASS 4A/3A/2A/1A DISTRICTS: Cascade Christian’s Claire Hawkins and St. Mary’s Alicia Lu will duke it out in today’s quarterfinals for a chance for an automatic berth in the state tournament at Fichtner-Mainwaring Park.
After a first-round bye, Hawkins won two matches and Lu picked up three victories. The two will face off at 9 a.m. as the event concludes today.
The Challengers’ Koral Rechberg and Caroline McMahon breezed through their first three matches before colliding with the top-seeded duo of Junction City’s Maddy Mehlbrech and Gabby Martinez, who picked up a 7-6 (7-1), 6-2 victory in the quarterfinals.
St. Mary’s Zoe Alftine and Susanna Schatz won 6-0, 6-0 in their first two matches before getting eliminated by Henley’s Kenzie Cooper and Sabine Graetsch in the third round, 6-1, 7-6 (8-6).
The Challengers’ Cici Yang and Amanda Morse also won a match before falling to a Klamath Union pair in second round.