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ASHLAND HIGH CATCHER KYLIE CANTRELL

Grizzlies cave to Grants Pass

The anticipated growing pains of Ashland High&

s youthful softball team came as expected and where expected Tuesday.

The Grizzlies put up two fights to push visiting Grants Pass, but ultimately succumbed to their own defensive struggles, mostly of the mental variety. The Lady Cavers broke out of a 2-2 game to win the opener 8-2 and overcame an early deficit to pulverize Ashland in Game 2, 11-1, in the Southern Oregon Conference openers for both teams at North Mountain Park.

&

I don&

t think the score in any way reflects how we played,&

Ashland head coach Misty Potochnik said. &

And actually, if that makes people feel otherwise that&

s OK because we can still surprise some people.&

The Grizzlies appeared on the verge of doing just that in Game 2, taking its first lead of the day when senior Emily McLaughlin slapped a single to center field to score Kayla Cardoza from third. Cardoza reached on a single with one out.

Grants Pass&

Kim Gonzales tied the game in the third with an RBI double, but the Cavers&

bid to take the lead was thwarted when Ashland pitcher Isabella Pribyl got counterpart Chelsey Chamberlain to ground out with runners at second and third.

Chamberlain made up for it on the mound over the next four innings, holding Ashland scoreless on four hits. She struck out 17 while picking up both wins to improve to 6-0-1 on the season.

Grants Pass (8-1-1) took the lead for good in the fourth when Denise Runnels scored on Gonzales&

squeeze bunt, but Ashland sidestepped disaster when Pribyl K&

d Allie Farner with two on and two out.

— — —

GRIZZLIES FRESHMAN Amanda Good, left, waits for — the throw at third base.

Sarah Hale | For the Tidings

The Grizzlies finally ran out of answers in the sixth. That&

s when the Lady Cavers scored five runs, all with two outs, to put Ashland away. The Grizzlies had a chance to get out of the inning unscathed, but Farner&

s weak grounder to third with the bases loaded and two out ended up costing Ashland two runs when the subsequent throw home hit the base runner and ricocheted to the backstop.

&

It has to do with some of the young players and they&

re just going to get better as we go on,&

Potochnik said of the mental errors. &

That&

s a lot of pressure on a lot of young kids and we&

re asking them to grow up pretty quick, but I&

m pretty confident that they can come in and fill that role.

&

They still have their heads up and have a lot of games ahead of them.&

Pribyl was tagged with both losses to fall to 3-5 on the season. She struck out six and walked eight, but showed glimpses of her enormous potential by mixing a good fastball with a wicked change-up.

Junior first baseman April Jorgensen had four hits on the day, including two doubles, to lead the Grizzlies at the plate. Freshman outfielder Sara Silbowitz added two hits in the second game.

In the opener, Ashland scored two runs in the bottom of the first to tie the game, but the Grizzlies&

four errors helped the Cavers tack on six runs over the last four innings.

The Grizzlies travel to Central Point on Saturday for a doubleheader against the Comets.

FIRST GAME

Grants Pass 200 202 2 &

8 8 2

Ashland 200 000 0 &

2 4 4

Chamberlain and Woolf; Pribyl, McLaughlin (6) and Cantrell. W &

Chamberlain (5-0-1). L &

Pribyl. 2B &

GP: Woolf; A: Jorgensen.

SECOND GAME

Grants Pass 001 105 7 &

11 13 1

Ashland 010 000 0 &

— 5 2

Chamberlain, Prestianni (7) and Woolf; Pribyl, Smith (7) and Cantrell. W &

Chamberlain (6-0-1). L &

Pribyl (3-5). 2B &

GP: Sippola, Gonzales, Prestianni; A: Jorgensen.

Baseball

At Eagle Point, Ashland managed only three hits and one earned run against senior right-hander Derek Grieve in a 6-2 Southern Oregon Conference loss to Eagle Point on Tuesday.

The loss dropped the Grizzlies to 1-3 in SOC play, 4-5 overall, while the Eagles improved to 2-2 and 7-2.

&

They were a little bit better team than us last night,&

Ashland head coach Don Senestraro said. &

(Grieve) had a good curve ball that kept us off balance all night. He did a good job, and we hit some balls that were right at people &

screaming line drives.&

Senior pitcher Aaron San Nicholas started for Ashland and gave up six hits and three earned runs in four innings. He struck out five and walked four before giving way to Sam Gaviglio. Eagle Point scored five runs in the fifth on four singles, a walk, an error and a passed ball that led to two runs.

The shorthanded Grizzlies moved third baseman Justin Meza to catcher and junior varsity player Terran Ahern took over at third.

The Grizzlies host Crater (2-0 SOC) on Saturday. Game — of the doubleheader is scheduled to start at noon at North Mountain Park.

&

Hopefully, everybody we&

ll have everybody back for this whole week of practice and get everybody back to where they&

re supposed to be,&

Senestraro said. &

(The Comets) are a good team and we&

re going to prepare hard this week.&

Ashland 000 002 0 &

2 — 2

Eagle Point 001 050 x &

6 8 1

San Nicholas, S. Gaviglio (5) and Meza; Grieve and Harvey. W &

Grieve (3-1). L &

San Nicholas. 2B &

A: Dodds.

Girls Golf

At Medford, Lauren Dow shot a 119 to lead the Grizzlies in the first Southern Oregon Conference counter of the season Tuesday at Rogue Valley Country Club.

Justine Hix of Grants Pass won medalist honors with a 77 and North Medford won the team race with a combined score of 376. Ashland placed sixth in the seven-team field.

Also for Ashland, Kacee Kubli shot a 125, Leeanna Faudree shot a 147 and Antonia Charters shot a

169.

Sports editor can be reached at 482-3456 ext. 3020 or joe.zavala@dailytidings.com.