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Playoff Glance

CLASS 4A SOFTBALL

Monday's Quarterfinals — Central Catholic 2, McKay 0 — Churchill 4, Putnam 0 — North Eugene 8, Grants Pass 0 — North Medford 8, Barlow 0

Wednesday's Semifinals — Central Catholic at Churchill, 4:30 p.m. — — North Eugene at North Medford, — Fagone Field, 4:30 p.m. — —

Black Tornado dispatches Barlow, 8-0, in quarterfinals

GRESHAM -- Sophomore pitcher Steph Coe threw a two-hit shutout Monday afternoon as top-ranked North Medford rolled into the Class 4A state softball semifinals with an 8-0 victory over Barlow.

Coe's control was backed by sure-handed defense as the Black Tornado reached the semifinals for the seventh time and fifth time in the 1990s.

We wanted to keep the pressure on them and I was able to hit my spots, said Coe, who notched her 17th win in 18 decisions. Our defense was excellent.

North returns home for its semifinal contest against North Eugene, an 8-0 winner over Grants Pass, 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at Fagone Field.

North Medford swept a double header from North Eugene, 1-0 and 10-6, at Fagone on March 31. The Tornado is seeking to become the first team to reach four straight title games since Churchill of Eugene won consecutive championships in 1980-83.

Elsewhere, Churchill defeated Putnam, 4-0, and will host Central Catholic, a 2-0 winner over McKay, in the other semifinal.

North Medford wasn't overpowering, but stole 10 bases, took advantage of nine walks and got timely hitting to produce its biggest offensive output of the playoffs. Nonetheless, the Tornado left 16 runners on base.

I don't think they keep that stat, but that's got to be some kind of record, North Medford coach Larry Binney said.

North took a 3-0 lead in the second inning. Jenny Close singled to left field off Barlow starting pitcher Shelly Butcher and stole second to start the inning. Jill Carrigan singled and Haley Varley singled to send Close home. Ryder singled to load the bases. Then Megumi Hackett reached on a fielder's choice as Carrigan scored. Ryder then made it 3-0 after an error by Barlow's second baseman.

North added two more runs in the fourth on RBI-ground balls by Coe and catcher Erin Glantz.

After extending its lead to 6-0 in the fifth, the Tornado scored twice in the seventh with Steph Adams and Glantz collecting RBIs.

As a steady rain drenched the field, Coe stranded a runner at third base in the seventh inning to preserve her shutout.

No games are easy right now, Binney said. We were able to put some pressure on them and I thought Steph did a real nice job. The strike zone was tight and she was able to work through that.

The bottom of the Tornado lineup produced seven of the club's 12 hits. Varley was 3-for-4, while Ryder, Carrigan and Hackett were 2-for-4. Clean-up hitter Steph Adams was 1-for-1 with three walks and a sacrifice fly.

Lu Crenshaw stole three bases, while Carrigan and Hackett had two each.

North Medford ............030 210 2 -- 8 12 — Barlow .........................000 000 0 -- 0 — 2

Coe and Glantz; Butcher, Nash (6) and Brabham. W -- Coe (17-1). L -- Butcher.