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Pirates lock up playoff berth with win

PHOENIX ' One week ago, the Phoenix baseball team had lost three straight and sat just out of playoff contention in fourth place of the Skyline Conference.

Today, the Pirates are winners of three straight and are headed to the Class 3A playoffs for the seventh-straight year, thanks to a 5-0 win over North Valley Wednesday afternoon.

It feels great, said Phoenix coach Joe Hagler. The kids played great defense today and made some big plays. They deserved to win.

The Pirates (15-11, 14-7 Skyline) used a four-run third inning and some key defensive double-plays to down North Valley (18-7, 14-7) and clinch the conference's No. — seed. Phoenix travels to take on Sutherlin in a first-round matchup on Monday.

Brett Ellis pitched a two-hit, complete-game shutout and got out of a no-out, bases-loaded jam in the fourth inning.

— He struck out only one batter but he's not a real strikeout guy, Hagler said. He is a guy who can hit his spots. Plus we had good defense behind him.

Phoenix broke open a scoreless tie against North Valley ace Drew DeChenne in the third on three straight singles. Zak Supan singled home Jimmy McElvoy for the first run and Brent Ferguson then loaded the bases with a single. Chad Walker then reached on a throwing error by the Knight shortstop, scoring Ellis.

Jason Lockett had a standoff with DeChenne, fouling off pitch after pitch before hitting a two-RBI single up the middle.

He knew that the last pitch was going to be a strike, so he fouled it away, Hagler said. The very next pitch he lined a basehit through the gap.

Lockett gave Phoenix an insurance run in the sixth, driving in catcher Ryan Harvey on another single.

North Valley loaded the bases in the top of the fifth with no outs. The Knights' Josh Makepeace hit a line drive straight to Ellis, who got the force at home before Harvey relayed to first for the double play. Ellis got out of the jam on a grounder to third.

Despite the loss, North Valley will advance to the playoffs as the No. 2 seed.

The Knights hold the tiebreaker by winning two out of three against both Phoenix and Rogue River. The Pirates also won two of three from Rogue River to earn the final playoff tiebreaker.

North Valley.............................000 000 0 ' 0 2 2

Phoenix....................................004 001 x ' 5 6 1

DeChenne, Saeman (5) and Saeman, Ogden (5); Ellis and Harvey. W ' Ellis (6-2). L ' DeChenne.

ROGUE RIVER 6, LAKEVIEW — ' At Rogue River, sophomore shortstop Spencer Frantz went 3-for-3 at the plate and junior Gary Richardson was a force on the mound as Rogue River closed out the regular season with a victory.

The Chieftains (15-11, 14-7 Skyline Conference) finished in a three-way tie with North Valley and Phoenix but lost out on a state playoff berth due to tiebreakers.

Rogue River took the lead for good with a three-run fourth inning. Joey Parrillo had an RBI single and Frantz put down a perfectly-executed suicide squeeze during the rally.

The Chieftains won 14 of their last 17 games in league play after starting the season 0-4.

Lakeview..................................100 200 0 ' — 6 3

Rogue River.............................002 301 x ' 6 9 3

Heath, Barber (6) and Ferry; Richardson, J. Castro (7) and Reagles. W ' Richardson (6-2). L ' Heath. HR ' Lak: Baker.

HENLEY 7, MAZAMA 0 ' At Klamath Falls, Henley hammered cross-town rival and defending Class 3A champions Mazama in the regular season finale for both teams.

Bryn Card struck out eight and gave up only two hits, while the Hornets (23-3, 18-3 Skyline) shelled Mazama for 10 hits.

Josh Knapp hit a three-run home run in the seventh inning for Henley, which faces either Stayton or Riverside next Wednesday at Kiger Stadium in the first round of the state playoffs.

Jake Mastroianni and Kelly Shannon each doubled to finish 2-for-4 at the plate for the Hornets.

The Vikings end the season at 13-12 overall and 13-8 in the Skyline Conference.

Henley....................................200 100 4 ' 7 10 2

Mazama....................................000 000 0 ' 0 2 2

Card and Hoppe; Butcher and Lee. W ' Card (10-1). L ' Butcher. 2B ' H: Shannon, Mastroianni. HR ' H: Knapp.

Skyline Softball

PHOENIX 3, NORTH VALLEY 2 '

At Merlin, Phoenix capped the season with a win to finish 11-14 overall and 11-10 in the Skyline Conference.

Shonda George went 3-for-4 at the plate for the Pirates and Larrisa Wiltrout, Robyn Singleton and Nicole Engle all scored runs.

Shea Miller hit a solo home run for North Valley (8-18, 7-14 Skyline) and Kelley DePorte went 3-for-3.

Phoenix.....................................120 000 0 ' — 7 2

North Valley.............................000 001 — ' 2 7 4

Engle and K. Singleton; Hinkle and Miller. W ' Engle. L ' Hinkle. 2B ' NV: DePorte. HR ' NV: Miller (2).

HENLEY 6, MAZAMA 5 ' At Klamath Falls, Katrina Kessler singled home Kristianne Kinsman for the game-winner with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The Hornets (16-9, 15-7 Skyline Conference) scored three runs in the seventh and all six of their runs in the final three innings.

Mazama..................................400 000 — ' 5 10 2

Henley....................................000 012 — ' 6 12 1

Hampson and Walker; Kessler and Kinsman. W ' Kessler (15-5). L ' Hampson. 2B ' M: Walker.

Nonconference Softball

CRATER 1, SOUTH MEDFORD 0 ' At Central Point, Crater (25-0) won it's third 1-0 contest over South Medford in five days in a nonconference playoff warmup for both teams.

Sam Womelsdorf drove home Jenny Bittle on a single to left-center in the second inning for the game's only run. Bittle led off the second with a single and advanced to third on an error and a fielder's choice.

Janelle Cristofaro struck out six in three innings of relief for the Comets.

The Panthers, who fell to 19-7 overall, host Hood River Valley in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs on Monday. Crater hosts either Century or Pendleton on Monday.

South Medford.........................000 000 0 ' 0 — 1

Crater.......................................010 000 x ' — 4 0

Mendenhall, Jeter (5) and Hubbard; Bittle, Cristofaro (5) and Bettencourt. W ' Bittle (16-0). L ' Mendenhall.