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Local teams host playoffs

North Medford's softball team, ranked No. 1 in the Oregon School Activities Association Class 6A power rankings, begins its quest for a third straight state championship in earnest today with a first-round home game.

The Black Tornado (24-2), champion of the Southern Oregon Hybrid, hosts Beaverton (10-16) at 3 p.m.

The game is one of several 6A softball and baseball playoff games locally today.

In other softball contests, Gresham (13-11) is at Grants Pass (18-7) at 3 p.m., and South Medford (10-13) visits Tualatin (20-6) at 4:30 p.m.

In first-round baseball, top-ranked Crater and No. 2 North Medford entertain opponents, as does South Medford.

Crater (21-6) takes on Aloha (8-17) at 4 p.m. at Anhorn Field, North Medford (22-4) hosts Oregon City (9-18) at 3 p.m. and South Medford (15-10) welcomes Barlow (16-11) at 5:30 p.m. at Harry and David Field.

The winners of today's games play in the second round on Wednesday.

North Medford's softball team is going for its 11th straight playoff victory. The school has won three of the past five titles and six overall.

The Black Tornado defeated Glencoe for the 2013 championship, 2-1, and the year before downed South Salem, 3-0, for the title.

Crater's baseball team advanced to the quarterfinals last year before falling 2-1 to eventual champion Sheldon. The Comets made it to the second round the year.

North Medford lost last year in the second round to Southridge, 9-3. In 2012, the Black Tornado fell in the first round to Beaverton, 7-3.