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Streaking Comets win two, improve to 10-2

The Crater High softball team dropped into a smaller classification this season, but the Comets aren't shying away from challenging some of the state's bigger schools.

Crater, a 5A school, defeated its second 6A opponent in as many days with an 8-7 win over Southridge at the North Medford Invitational on Tuesday. One day earlier, the Comets edged Sprague, 3-2.

Crater was scheduled to play 4A power Marist in another game at the North Medford tournament Tuesday. But when the Eugene team failed to show, the Comets instead played South Umpqua. Crater routed the Lancers, 14-3.

"We always try to get tough games before league play starts," said Crater coach Chris Arnold, whose Comets padded their record to 10-2 with their twin wins Tuesday. "Our girls aren't afraid to play those teams, and we know it's going to help us down the line."

Crater teed off on Southridge for six runs in the top of the first inning. Amanda Bates, Ashleigh Cuddie, Kristen Haga, Kara Perdue and Susan Winningham also smacked doubles during the onslaught.

Crater, which finished with 15 hits, led 8-3 after three innings, but Southridge tallied three runs in the sixth inning and one in the seventh to creep within one run.

The Comets helped out the Beaverton-based Skyhawks by committing a season-high eight errors.

"We've got some work to do," Arnold said. "We put enough runs on the board to win the game, but our defense let us down."

Ashleigh Cuddie scattered nine hits and went the distance on the mound for the Comets. She improved her record to 5-1.

Against South Umpqua, Crater led 5-1 after four innings and then exploded for nine runs in the fourth. The game ended after five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.

Winningham, the Comets' catcher, blasted a three-run homer, Emily Morrill drilled a triple and Haley Havern had a single and a double in the inning.

Havern and Cuddie each spanked three hits against the Lancers. Sophomore Brittany Reeves pitched the distance, yielding three hits with six strikeouts and five walks.

In other games Tuesday, Roseburg blanked Westview, 1-0, and later edged South Salem, 4-3; Forest Grove defeated South Medford, 4-3, and edged West Salem, 3-2; Sprague dumped South Medford, 8-3; Putnam trounced Phoenix, 11-0, and thumped McNary, 7-3; Eagle Point nipped West Salem, 3-2, and Churchill, 6-5; McNary topped Sandy, 6-3; and South Umpqua bested Phoenix, 12-4.

South Umpqua 001 02 — 3 3 1

Crater 131 9x — 14 14 2

Johnson and Bliven; Reeves and Lokeno. W — Reeves (1-0); L — Johnson. 2B — SU: Bumgartner; C: Winningham, Lokeno. 3B — C: Morrill. HR — C: Winningham.

Crater 611 000 — 8 15 8

Southridge 201 031 — 7 9 0

Cuddie and Winningham; Beatty, Wallace (2) and Kelly. W — Cuddie (5-1). L — Beatty. 2B — C: Cuddie 2, Winningham, Hevern, Bates, Haga, Perdue.

u SOUTH MEDFORD LOSES TWO — South Medford committed six errors over both games of the North Medford Invitational at Jackson Field.

The Panthers (3-6) made a late rally but came up short in a 4-3 loss to Forest Grove. In the second game, South Medford gave up five first-inning runs during an 8-3 loss to Sprague.

Against Forest Grove, South Medford had eight hits and allowed only two hits by the Vikings. But Forest Grove took advantage of two Panther errors to score four runs in the fourth inning.

Kinzie Towry was 2-for-4, while Mallory Tacdol went 2-for-3 to lead the Panthers, who don't play again until April 10 when they open Southwest Conference play against South Eugene.

South Medford 100 002 0 —3 8 3

Forest Grove 000 400 x —4 2 1

Mondale, Newman (6) and Dixon; Kaufman, Gronseth (6) and Renni. W — Kaufman. L — Mondale. 2B — SM: Walker; FG: Bettencourt.

u

Sprague 520 010 —8 9 0

South Medford 003 000 —3 3 3

Harp, Hedrick (3) and Holm; Mondale, Newman (3) and Dixon. W — Harp. L — Mondale (3-6). 2B — SM: Dixon. 3B — S: Holm, Sutherland.

u NORTH MEDFORD LOSES TWO — Second-ranked Southridge pushed across three runs in the top of the ninth inning and went on to a 6-4 win over North Medford in the North Medford Invitational at Fagone Field.

The Black Tornado later dropped a 7-3 decision to fourth-ranked Sprague as freshmen pitchers Caitlyn Mahoney and McKenzie Pons saw their first action of the season.

North Medford (3-4) led Southridge 2-0 after two innings, thanks to nicely executed squeeze bunts by Amanda Volgarino and Ashley Arnold. But the Skyhawks chipped away with single runs in the third and fifth innings, forcing the game into extra frames.

Kaci Sevano sprayed three hits and Katie Gould had two in the loss to Sprague.

Despite the setback, Tornado coach Mike Mayben was pleased with the efforts of Mahoney and Pons, who made their season debuts in place of No. 1 pitcher Taylor Schmidt, who worked 14 innings Monday and all nine innings against Southridge on Tuesday.

Southridge 001 010 013 —6 7 1

North Medford 110 000 011 —4 5 4

Wallace, Dalthun (3) and Kelly; Schmidt and Sevano. W — Dalthun. L — Schmidt (3-3).

u

North Medford 002 000 1 —3 9 2

Sprague 023 002 x —7 11 0

Mahoney, Pons (4) and Sevano; Sutherland and Holm. W — Sutherland. L — Mahoney (0-1). 2B — NM: Sandoval; S: Hedrick. 3B — S: Holm.

U EAGLE POINT SWEEPS — Eagle Point pitcher Kirsten Emigh stayed perfect on the season with a 6-5 victory over Churchill. The Eagles then edged West Salem 3-2 to boost their record to 3-1 in the North Medford Invitational.

With two outs and the score tied 2-all in the bottom of the sixth inning against West Salem, a double steal by Terrah Whipple and Emigh set up the go-ahead run when Whipple dashed home on a passed ball.

In the Churchill matchup, Trinity Hamner had a two-run triple in the fifth inning to put the Eagles up 6-4.

Whipple went 2-for-3 against Churchill and Emigh was 4-for-5 on the day. Emigh improved to 8-0 on the mound and helped Eagle Point improve to 9-2 overall.

Eagle Point 300 030 —6 6 3

Churchill 310 001 —5 9 1

Emigh and Griggs; Goschie and Boothe. W — Emigh (7-0). L — Goschie. 2B — EP: Emigh, Peterson, Boothe. 3B — EP: Hamner.

U

West Salem 002 000 0 —2 4 1

Eagle Point 000 201 x —3 4 4

Wilson and Connolly; Emigh and Griggs. W — Emigh (8-0). L — Wilson. 3B — EP: Josephson.

U SUMMIT TOURNAMENT — At Bend, Ashland fell to 6-3 after two losses at the Summit Tournament.

The Grizzlies lost to Hillsboro, 4-0, then dropped a 4-3 decision in eight innings to North Salem.

Bella Pribyl pitched both contests for the Grizzlies, giving up a combined nine hits to go with 17 strikeouts.

Against North Salem, Amanda Good had an RBI double and April Jorgensen an RBI single to spark a three-run eighth inning for Ashland. North Salem, however, answered with four of its own in the bottom of the frame to pull out the win.

Ashland 000 000 0 —0 3 1

Hillsboro 200 110 x —4 6 1

Pribyl and Cantrell; Tillegard and Hart. W — Tillegard. L — Pribyl. 2B — H: Hubrich. 3B — H: Hubrich, Hart.

u

Ashland 000 000 03 —3 4 2

North Salem 000 000 04 —4 3 3

Pribyl and Cantrell; Lingmal and Snyder. W — Lingmal. L — Pribyl (5-3). 2B — A: Good.

u NORTH VALLEY 14, RIVERSIDE 1 — At Boardman, North Valley sophomore Rachel Conard went 4-for-4 with three RBIs and four runs at the Riverside Invitational.

Knights' senior leadoff hitter Kristen Allison added two hits, two runs and two stolen bases. Allison has 10 stolen bases in eight games.

Pitcher Trista Morton (3-1) struck out seven in four innings and collected two hits, two RBIs and two stolen bases for North Valley (5-3).

Junior Shawlena Haga had two hits, including a two-out, two-run homer in the first inning, for the Knights.

North Valley 202 122 5 —14 15 1

Riverside 000 100 0 —1 4 2

Morton, Hinkle (5) and R. Conard; Pedro, McCullough (5) and Mittelsdors. W — Morton (3-1). L — Pedro. 2B — NV: Allison, Haga, Hinkle,, R. Conard 2; R: Pritchard. HR — NV: Haga (1).