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PREP ROUNDUP: Challengers secure sweep of Phoenix

It wasn’t quite the same contest as one day prior but the result was the same for the surging Cascade Christian softball team, which trailed Phoenix 6-4 when it came to bat in the fifth inning Friday and erupted to secure a 12-7 triumph at U.S. Cellular Community Park.

The Challengers (8-1) used a two-run single by Katelyn Willard, two-run double by Ali Modrell and two runs scored on Pirate errors to post six runs in the bottom of the fifth and take control one day after besting Phoenix 16-3 to open the two-game series.

“The girls really battled back in that fifth inning,” said Challengers coach Keith Willard. “We were playing a little bit nervous playing from behind but we came out and the girls start hitting the ball like they can. And when you hit the ball hard, good things happen.”

Audrey Quast started the surge with a one-out double and Rebecca Clark followed with a single to set the table for Willard’s big hit. After a rocket single by Mallory Meilicke, who finished 4-for-4 with two runs and five RBIs, consecutive errors put Cascade Christian ahead. Modrell then capped the scoring with her double.

Clark finished 2-for-3 with three runs, while Willard was 3-for-4 with three runs and two RBIs and also struck out seven with three walks and two earned runs inside the circle.

The loss was the third straight for Phoenix (5-3), but certainly a more solid showing than the opener. Makenna Page highlighted the effort with a solo home run in the fifth inning, while Josie Bolstad and Halie Bowman each had two hits and one RBI and Abigal George was 2-for-4 with one run.

“We had definite improvement but it just didn’t work out for us,” said Phoenix coach Stephanie Vandenbusch of her team. “They’re a pretty solid team and we battled back from losing pretty bad yesterday. It definitely didn’t fall where we wanted but I’m really proud of them.”

Phoenix1101301—783

Cascade Christian103062x—12135

Goff and Bolstad; Willard and Modrell. W — Willard (8-1). L — Goff (3-1). 2B — Melicke 2, Modrell, Quast. HR — Page (1).

Baseball

PHOENIX 12, CASCADE CHRISTIAN 4: Braeden Watts went 3-for-5 for Phoenix and teammates Freedom Martinez and Kade Beer each were 2-for-4 to pave the way for a nonconference win at U.S. Cellular Community Park.

The Pirates (6-5) scored eight unanswered runs after Cascade Christian (2-4) was able to tie the ballgame with a four-run third inning.

Sam Martin was 2-for-3 with an RBI double in the third for the Challengers, who also picked up RBIs from Cody Reese and Jadon Rullamas.

Phoenix2203140—12100

Cascade Christian0040000—461

Humble, Beer (3), Stella (6) and Merriman; Martin, Waits (4), Federico (6) and Knight. W — Beer. L — Martin (1-3). 2B — P: Watts, Martinez, Beer, Stanfield; CC: Martin.

HIDDEN VALLEY 15, ROGUE RIVER 4: At Murphy, Rogue River’s Cameron Hooker was 3-for-3 with one RBI, accounting for all but one of his team’s hits, but Hidden Valley scored nine runs in the final two innings to break the nonleague game open.

The contest was played at Hidden Valley (10-0-1) but Rogue River (1-4) served as the designated home team.

Nic Macuk allowed three hits and two earned runs with four strikeouts in 52/3 innings for the Chieftains, who were handcuffed by Mustangs pitcher Bode Kissel through five innings.

Caughlin Shults had a two-run home run in the sixth for Hidden Valley and joined Sam Vidlak in going 3-for-5.

Cascade Christian pitcher Katelyn Willard fires a pitch during Friday's nonleague game against Phoenix at U.S. Cellular Community Park.