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Black Tornado starts strong against Crater

CENTRAL POINT — Crater softball coach Chris Arnold makes it a point to schedule tough nonleague opponents to challenge his players every year, and North Medford definitely came through with such a performance Thursday at Crater High.

Sisters Alex and Lauren Barry sparked the Black Tornado at the top of the batting order with seven of the team’s 16 hits and senior pitcher Rylan Austin limited the Comets to six hits in securing a 9-4 triumph.

Sophomore Lauren Barry was 4-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored and senior Alex Barry went 3-for-5 with three runs to help set the tone for North Medford (1-0) in the coaching debut for Chris Campbell.

“Their top two hitters, the Barry girls, are tough,” said Arnold. “They put the pressure on defenses. They put the ball in play and basically were able to put it where they wanted to today.”

A walk to Lauren Barry and single by Alex Barry set the stage for Austin, who then supplied a two-run double in the top of the first inning for an immediate advantage against Crater (0-2).

“They struck quick,” said Arnold. “Their first four kids to the plate scored, it was a rough start.”

Austin finished 2-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs overall, while Lily Gann was 3-for-3 with one walk and Chelby Smalley went 2-for-4 with two RBIs for North Medford. Austin also struck out six with one walk and one hit batter to earn the pitching victory.

“Rylan did a great job controlling us and had some big outs against us,” added Arnold.

Crater got on board in the bottom of the second with a two-run home run by sophomore Hannah Joseph, who finished 3-for-4. Grace Hilton also had a pair of hits for the Comets, who stranded nine baserunners against North.

“We had an opportunity at the plate to change the tone of the ballgame but we weren’t able to get the job done,” said Arnold.

North Medford 400 202 1 — 9 16 0

Crater 210 001 0 — 4 6 5

Austin and Smalley; Joseph, Cappello (3), Wagner (6) and Harris, Sanderson (4). W — Austin (1-0). L — Joseph (0-1). 2B — NM: Austin 2. 3B — NM: L. Barry. HR — C: Joseph (1).

SOUTH MEDFORD 11, NORTH VALLEY 6: South Medford jumped out to a 9-0 lead after two innings to make head coach Shane Ramsay a winner in his Panther debut at South Medford High.

South Medford used a few walks, hits and errors to build a 5-0 lead in the first, then saw junior Jaden Alexander smack a two-run double to highlight a four-run second inning. Alexander finished 2-for-3 with two doubles and four RBIs.

Freshman Matyln Leetch went 3-for-4 with two RBIs for the Panthers (1-0), while seniors Cassiday Clark (2-for-4) and Shayna Woods (2-for-2) also had multiple hits.

North Valley 001 030 2 — 6 3 2

South Medford 540 101 x — 11 15 4

R. Arana and Johnston; Wolfard, Dalke (4), L. Jones (7) and Clark. W — Wolfard (1-0). L — Arana. 2B — SM: Alexander 2, Leetch. 3B — NV: Johnston.

Baseball

NORTH MEDFORD 8, ASHLAND 1: At Ashland, North Medford pitcher Brandon King allowed one hit with one walk and one unearned run over six innings and Jon-o Gassman smacked a solo home run to highlight the nonleague victory at North Mountain Park.

King also struck out three for the Black Tornado (1-0) and was 1-for-3 with one run and one RBI. Gassman finished 1-for-3 with two RBIs, while Quinton Rumrey went 1-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs. Jeremiah Huffman and Brady Buchanan also had two hits for North Medford, with Buchanan scoring twice and pitching a scoreless seventh inning.

For Ashland (0-2), Eli Westrick had his team’s lone hit with one out in the sixth inning.

North Medford 201 320 0 — 8 8 2

Ashland 010 000 0 — 1 1 4

King, Buchanan (7) and Robbins; Westrick, Reynolds (4), Amman (6) and Evans, Brown (6). W — King (1-0). L — Westrick (0-1). 2B — NM: Rumrey. HR — NM: Gassman (1).

DALLAS 5, EAGLE POINT 0: At Corvallis, sophomore Kolbi Blevins had two of Eagle Point’s three hits in his first varsity start but the Eagles were shut out in the nonleague season opener for both teams at Crescent Valley High School.

Eagle Point had a chance to get back in the game in the fifth, but with runners at second and third and one out Dallas starting pitcher Jaret Stewart recorded back-to-back strikeouts.

The Dragons broke the game open in the bottom of the sixth when Stewart hit a double over the right fielder’s head to clear the bases and extend Dallas’ lead to 5-0.

Eagle Point 000 000 0 — 0 3 1

Dallas 000 203 x — 5 5 0

Gaudern, Marsh (5) and VonDoloski; Stewart, Kessler (7) and Earhart. W — Stewart. L — Gaudern (0-1). 2B — D: Stewart.