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Phoenix bags crucial softball win

TALENT -- With no room for error, the Phoenix softball team used timely hitting and a strong pitching effort from Kristie Davis to deal Hidden Valley a 6-3 Skyline Conference loss Tuesday.

Davis posted a season-high six strikeouts and allowed four hits in helping the Pirates (11-8, 10-5 Skyline) remain tied with Illinois Valley for second place.

Our backs are to the wall now, Phoenix coach Rich Ficek said. We still have the best two teams (Henley and Illinois Valley) coming to Phoenix in the next few weeks.

The Pirates had a chance to put themselves in prime position Saturday, only to be swept by Mazama.

If we had won those two Saturday, Ficek said, we could have probably walked into third place.

The top three teams advance to the state playoffs.

Phoenix took control of Tuesday's game in the third inning, building a 4-1 lead behind RBI singles by Michelle McEvoy, Jeanetta Hudnall and Erin Heath.

In spite of a nagging ankle injury, Hudnall paced the team with three RBIs on two hits. Davis and McEvoy went 2-for-3.

Although Phoenix has been plagued by injuries and fields a young lineup, Ficek said his team remains dangerous heading into the final weeks of the season.

The thing is we've got a lot of athletes, he said. If these kids could jell right now, then we could be a tough team to handle.

Hidden Valley ............001 020 0 -- — 4 2 Phoenix .....................004 101 x -- 6 9 3

Roth and Nugent; Davis and Nikodym. W -- Davis (6-3). L -- Roth.

ILLINOIS VALLEY 7, MAZAMA — -- At Cave Junction, Justine Johnson struck out a career-high 15 batters and walked one for Illinois Valley (12-7, 10-5 Skyline).

Mazama's only run was unearned.

At one point, Johnson registered six straight strikeouts.

For Illinois Valley, both Stephanie Moore and Vanessa Box had two hits and two RBIs.

Mazama .......................000 010 0 -- — 3 5 Illinois Valley ...............013 003 x -- 7 9 3

Valiton and Mishler; Johnson and McDowell. W -- Johnson (12-7). L -- Valiton. 2B -- IV: Moore. 3B -- IV: D'Arpino.

ROGUE RIVER 7, LAKEVIEW 0 -- At Rogue River, Krista Worthington went 2-for-4 with a home run and a double for Rogue River to help knock Lakeview out of a three-way tie for second.

Rogue River's Pam Roberts had a triple and a double with three RBIs.

Amber Goodwin gave up five hits, all singles, to pick up her fourth win.

Lakeview ....................000 000 0 -- 0 5 — Rogue River ..............000 223 x -- 7 12 1

Ruda and Gillogley; Goodwin and Sittingdown. W -- Goodwin (4-4). L -- Ruda. 2B -- RR: Artoff, Worthington, Roberts, Haberman. 3B -- RR: Roberts. HR -- RR: Worthington.

HENLEY 25, NORTH VALLEY — -- At North Valley, five players from Henley had two or more hits, while Hornet pitcher Mandy Hargrave gave up one run on seven hits.

Henley .....................302 6(14) -- 25 13 0 North Valley ....................010 00 -- — 7 9

Hargrave and Mills; Wardlaw, Vaniersel (4) and Long. W -- Hargrave. L -- Wardlaw. 2B -- H: Miller. NV: Schmid. 3B -- H: Young.

CRATER JV 9, CASCADE CHRISTIAN — -- At Central Point, Cascade Christian managed only two hits in the non-conference loss to the Crater junior varsity.

Maria Stutzman started things off for the Challengers in the first with a single to knock in two runs, but Cascade Christian could only manage one hit the rest of the way.

The Comets had two earned runs, capitalizing on five Cascade Christian errors.

Cascade Christian ......200 001 0 -- — 2 5 Crater JV ....................201 303 x -- 9 7 2

Gordon and Ennis; Foster and Steinmetz. W -- Foster. L -- Gordon (6-5). 3B -- CC: Ennis.