Dramatic rally gives Challengers crown
Cascade Christian was down to its last out with the Southern Cascade League softball championship in the balance Friday at U.S. Cellular Community Park.
The Challengers needed a split in the SCL doubleheader against Rogue River for the league title.
After getting blown out 12-0 in five innings by the second-place Chieftains in the opener, the Challengers trailed 8-5 going into the seventh inning of the nightcap with the bottom of the batting order due at the plate. But in impressive fashion, Cascade Christian rallied to tie the game in regulation and won 9-8 in nine innings to clinch its second consecutive league championship.
“We showed what we were made of,” said Cascade Christian coach Keith Willard. “The girls came through.”
Shallan Spencer proved to be an unlikely hero for the Challengers (12-4, 8-1 SCL). The freshman outfielder, promoted to the starting lineup just last week, opened the ninth with a double for her first varsity hit.
After two outs, Mia Mayben reached on an infield single, but Spencer was forced to hold at second. Then Shaylee Ledesma lined a single to center field.
“I was trying to hold (Spencer) at third but she ran through my sign,” said Willard. “But they bobbled the ball on the relay and she scored.”
After being shutout in the opener, the Challengers found themselves behind 6-0 after two innings of Game 2.
Then came the seventh inning when No. 7 hitter Audrey Quast opened with double and Abby Miller followed with an RBI double. Miller moved to third on a passed ball and scored on Spencer’s groundout to cut Rogue River’s lead to 8-7.
Bryton Plankenhorn kept the Challengers’ hopes alive with a single and a steal of second. After a groundout, Mayben clubbed a two-out RBI double to tie the game.
Cascade Christian got 17 hits in Game 2, with Mayben, Quast and Eeklyn Magee getting three each and Plankenhorn and Ledesma adding two apiece.
Elly Moulder had two hits, two runs and two RBIs for Rogue River (11-4, 4-2) and Jillian Steinbrook-Cory had two hits.
Senior pitcher Alyssa Sands tossed a five-inning, one-hit shutout in the first game for Rogue River.
Amanda Earnest had two hits, scored twice and drove in two for Rogue River and Moulder chipped in two hits and scored two runs.
Cascade Christian’s lone hit came from a leadoff double by Plankenhorn in the first inning.
Sands and Moulder; Ledesma and Plankenhorn. W — Sands. L — Ledesma. 2B — CC: Plankenhorn.
Sands and Moulder; Ledesma and Plankenhorn. W — Ledesma (13-5). L — Sands.
2B — CC: Ledesma, Magee, Mayben, Meilicke, Miller, Quast, Spencer.
MARIST 21-16, CRATER 2-3: At Eugene, Hannah Joseph responded with RBI hits in each end of the Midwestern League doubleheader for Crater but Marist, ranked No. 1 in the OSAA power rankings for 5A, answered with seven home runs in a pair of five-inning victories.
Joseph’s two-run double in the third inning of the opener accounted for both Comet (9-10, 8-7 MWL) runs.
In Game 2, Joseph knocked in Emily McCollum, who walked and stole second, in the first inning. Then McCollum came through with an RBI double an inning later.
Lauren Burke, the 2016 5A player of the year, scored seven runs and had three doubles and a home run in the twin bill for Marist (20-1, 14-1).
Warner, Wagner (2), Warner (4) and Harris; Eaton and Doerr. W — Easton. L — Warner. 2B — C: Joseph; M: Burke, Carlson, Eaton, Martin. HR — M: Burke Balderston, Carlson, Stevenson.
Joseph, Warner (4) and Sanderson; Carlson, Eaton (2) and Doerr. W — Eaton. L — Joseph. 2B — C: McCollum; Burke 2, Martin 2. HR — M: Carlson, Doerr, Stevenson.
HIDDEN VALLEY 12, PHOENIX 11: At Talent, Phoenix built an 11-5 lead but Hidden Valley rallied in the rubber match of the three-game Skyline series at Hagler-James Park.
The Pirates scored five runs in the fourth inning to take a six-run advantage against the Mustangs. Tiona Hurd’s two-run single capped the outburst for the Pirates.
Makenna Page went 3-for-3 with a walk and two RBIs to spark the Pirates’ 15-hit attack. Hannah Hague added three hits and one RBI, Taylor Wallack collected a pair of singles and Courtney Baker provided a two-run single.
Sheeley and Caddock; Hurd and Bowman. W — Sheeley. L — Hurd. 2B — HV: Sheeley, Togh; P: Hurd, Page 2, Hague. 3B — P: Page.
HIDDEN VALLEY 4, PHOENIX 3, 8 inn.: At Talent, Phoenix left 13 runners on base, including 10 in scoring position, and Kolton Fisher hit a two-out, eighth-inning home run to provide Hidden Valley the three-game Skyline Conference sweep.
Phoenix (11-10, 5-7 Sky) had runners on second and third with one out in the bottom of the seventh of the 3-3 game, but had two strikeouts to end the threat.
In the eighth, Phoenix loaded the bases with one out against the Mustangs (18-2, 11-1) but failed to score.
Phoenix grabbed a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning on RBI singles by Chase Courtney and Kevin Botermans. The Pirates upped their lead to 3-0 in the fifth when Thomas Skaff opened with a walk and eventually scored on a two-out passed ball.
Brennen Watts led Phoenix with three hits and Skaff added two.
Kissel, Pereira (7) and Pereira, Kissel (7); Knudson and Datz. W — Pereira. L — Knudson (2-2). 2B — HV: Wright, Harry; P: Skaff. HR — HV: Fisher.
CASCADE CHRISTIAN 5-10, ROGUE RIVER 4-0: Jeff Letendre pitched a two-hitter in the six-inning second game to give Cascade Christian the Southern Cascade League sweep at U.S. Cellular Park.
Letendre struck out one and walked one for the Challengers (14-8, 9-1 SCL). He also was 2-for-3.
Kyle Reece went 3-for-4, Declan Payne 2-for-3 with two RBIs and Gunnar Thompson 2-for-4. Joel McLemore drove in two runs.
In the opener, Cade Wager doubled in the fifth inning and came all the way around to score the eventual winning run on an error in the outfield.
Wager, who also tripled, had two hits, as did Thompson and Payne.
Rogue River is 2-14 and 0-9.
Black and Tambolini; Reece, McLemore (7) and Thompson. W — Reece (4-2). L — Black. 2B — CC: Payne, Wager. 3B — CC: Wager.
Nelson, Goodhoe (6) and Tambolini; Letendre and Thompson. W — Letendre (5-3). L — Nelson. 2B — CC: Reece, Thompson, Payne.
5A SPECIAL DISTRICT 2: At Redmond, Eagle Point had the best showing of local teams in the regional qualifier at Eagle Crest Resort.
The Eagles shot 382 as a team but are in 12th place out of 14 after the first day of the two-day tournament. Ashland and Crater followed.
Eagle Point’s Kyler DeVore turned in a 90 and is tied for 29th place.
The top five teams and top 10 individuals qualify for the state tournament May 15-16 at
Quail Valley Golf Course in Banks.
TEAM SCORES: Summit 323, Marist 342, Pendleton 345, The Dalles 345, Thurston 351, Hermiston 355, Bend 370, Mountain View 373, Redmond 374, Churchill 374, Ridgeview 376, Eagle Point 382, Ashland 413, Crater 434.
INDIVIDUAL RESULTS (Top 5): T1, Isaac Buerger, Ridgeview, Eric Wasserman, Summit, 79; T3, Cole Chrisman, Summit, Dawson Ruhl, Summit, Chase Snodgrass, The Dalles, 80.
EAGLE POINT (382): Kyler DeVore 90, Jacob Hamilton 92, Brandon Thompson 95, Jaron Duran 105.
ASHLAND (413): TJ Ferreira 97, Johnathan Ferreira 99, Kaydyn Kimbrough 102, Ben Burkholder 115.
CRATER (434): Chase Sonnen 102, Christian Neal 106, Dillon Dritchas 108, Hayden Carlson 118.
5A SPECIAL DISTRICT 2: At Redmond, Crater freshman Haley Brown is in third place after the first of two days of the 10-school regional qualifier at Eagle Crest Resort.
The competition concludes today. The top four teams and top 10 individuals qualify for the 5A state tournament May 15-16 at Emerald Valley Golf Club in Creswell.
Brown shot a score of 80 on the par-72 layout. Eagle junior Ryleigh Gainey posted an 88 for seventh in the individual standings.
Other top locals were Crater’s Caitlin O’Connor (ninth) and Ginny Cotton of Ashland (14th).
Summit of Bend had the low score of 351. Crater is positioned fifth (397), while Ashland is sixth (425) and Eagle Point is eighth (441).
TEAM SCORES: Summit 351, Bend 361, Pendleton 375, Hermiston 393, Crater 397, Ashland 425, Ridgeview 437, Eagle Point 441, Mountain View 500. Incomplete: The Dalles, Marist.
INDIVIDUAL RESULTS (Top 5): 1, Olivia Loberg, Summit, 71; 2, Haley Greb, Pendleton, 77; 3, Haley Brown, Crater, 80; 4, Josephine Fraser, Summit, 85; 5, (tie) Kaylie Hayes, Bend, and Ascha Kelleher, Bend, 87.
CRATER (397): Haley Brown 39-41—80, Caitlin O’Connor 44-47—91, Carley Streitler 53-55—108, Renna Broesder 59-59—118.
ASHLAND (425): Ginny Cotton 47-49—96, Sophia Rooney 49-59—108, Suttyn Barats 52-56—108, Emily Robinson 54-59—113.
EAGLE POINT (441): Rayleigh Gainey 44-44—88, Nauvoo Beal 57-51—108, Jordan Muller 62-57—119, Kelsi Monroe 62-64—126.