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Tornado falls prey to comeback

The Black Tornado squandered a 3-0, third-inning lead against Nemesis Elite of Downey, Calif., to fall into the loser's bracket Wednesday at the 18A ASA Softball National Tournament in Normal, Ill.

Nemesis Elite scored seven unanswered runs to take a 7-3 triumph in the first round of bracket play, sending the Black Tornado into an elimination contest at 8:45 a.m. (Pacific) today.

"We played a good first three innings and then just kinda lost the energy and only had one hit the last four innings, which really hurt us," said Black Tornado coach Mike Mayben. "They threw the same pitcher, we just didn't get on base."

The Black Tornado scored a pair of runs in the second inning when Grace Marsh and Ashley Bacon had consecutive one-out singles and then scored on a two-out double by Katie Williamson.

The lead grew to 3-0 in the top of the third after Hannah Leming belted a one-out double, stole third and scored when a grounder by Kelsie Bartley was misplayed.

Marsh led off the fourth with a single but that was all the Black Tornado could muster after that as Nemesis Elite's pitcher turned away the final 12 batters she faced.

Bartley only walked one inside the circle but gave up 10 hits, and the Black Tornado committed three errors. Two singles and a three-run inside-the-park home run allowed Nemesis Elite to pull ahead for good at 4-3 in the fourth inning.

Black Tornado 021 000 0 — 3 5 3

Nemesis Elite 001 330 x — 7 10 2

16A ASA WESTERN NATIONALS — At Kent, Wash., the Southern Oregon Comets dropped their second game in as many days to settle for a No. 4 seed after pool play in the 44-team tournament.

The Comets opened play late Tuesday with a 5-4 loss to the Snohomish Shock, then dropped an 11-8 slugfest to the Southern California Cougars on Wednesday.

The Comets, made up of players from Crater, South Medford, Eagle Point and Sprague, open bracket play at 9:30 this morning against a to-be-determined No. 3 seed. A win in that game would set up a second game later today, while a loss would send the Comets to the loser's bracket of the double-elimination tourney and a Thursday contest.

Olivia Beamish-White, a South Medford senior, has paced the Comets thus far, going 2-for-4 in the first game and 3-for-4 with one run and two RBIs in Game 2.

Crater senior Haley Fox ripped a solo home run in the fifth inning against Snohomish and was 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and three RBIs against Southern California.

South Medford's Katie Ramsay added an RBI double against the Shock, while fellow Panther Sam Owirka had a solo homer and Crater's Kenzie Rohde notched a double against the Cougars.

The Comets managed four hits in the opener — with pitchers McKenzie Merrill of EP and Emily Murell of Sprague allowing a combined eight hits — and were outhit 16-13 in Game 2.