PREP ROUNDUP: Willard leads red-hot Challengers
Katelyn Willard was in top form from the circle on Friday.
The sophomore ace not only cranked out a season-high 14 strikeouts in the opener of the Cascade Christian softball team’s doubleheader with Sutherlin, but she did not allow a single earned run as the Challengers earned the Far West League sweep, 7-0 and 6-5, at U.S. Cellular Community Park.
Willard tossed a four-hit shutout without walking a batter. She was backed by senior Mallory Meilicke’s sizziling swing in Game 1. Meilicke finished 2-for-4 with a third-inning solo home run that made it 3-0. Meilicke struck again in the fifth with a lead-off triple before scoring on Kara Palmer’s single to increase the lead to 5-0.
In Game 2, both Willard and Palmer came up clutch in the fourth inning to help the Challengers (11-1, 3-0 FWL) overcome a nine-error outing.
With Sutherlin (4-10, 0-3) leading 4-3 in the fourth, Willard tied the game 4-all with an RBI ground out and Palmer mashed her first career home run — a two-run shot — to give the Challengers the lead for good.
Palmer finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs and Willard improved to 11-1 on the season, striking out 11 while allowing five runs — none were earned — on five hits and just one walk.
The Challengers’ Rebecca Clark went 2-for-3 and scored twice.
Ganger and Magana; Willard and Modrell. W — Willard (10-1). L — Ganger. 3B — CC: Meilicke, Willard. HR — CC: Meilicke.
Ganger, Parsons (6), Ganger (7) and Magana; Willard and Modrell. W — Willard (11-1). L — Ganger. 2B — CC: Palmer. HR — CC: Palmer.
SUTHERLIN 6-8, CASCADE CHRISTIAN 1-3: At Sutherlin, Cascade Christian was unable to generate the offense necessary to keep up with Sutherlin and was swept in a Far West League twin bill by the Bulldogs, who won, 6-1 and 8-3.
Erich Marschall came up with a bases-clearing double for the Challengers (2-7, 0-3 FWL) in Game 2 when Austin Waits went 2-for-3.
Knight, Waits (6) and Marshall; Martin and Peterman. W — Martin. L — Knight (0-2). 2B — S: Hagar. HR — S: Hagar.
Martin, Rulamas (4) and Knight; Meisner, Hope (5) and Peterman. W — Meisner. L — Martin (1-5). 2B — CC: Marschall; S: Meisner 2, Hagar.
St. Mary’s swept the top three places in the girls division and won going away in the Cascade Community Credit Union Challenge at Roseburg Country Club.
Baylee Hammericksen was medalist with a 75, followed by her sister, Riley, with a 79, and Kaylee Wu at 80.
The Crusaders’ team score of 338 outdistanced runner-up Crater by 41 shots.
Crater’s Caitlin O’Connor (84) and Haley Brown (86) rounded out the top five.
In the boys division, South Medford’s Gabe Provencio was co-runner-up with a 76, one shot behind Grants Pass medalist Taylor Anderson.
Grants Pass won the boys title with a 343.
St. Mary’s Bryce Stiemert was eighth with an 87.
TEAM SCORES: Grants Pass 343, Bandon 362, North Bend 370, South Medford 384, McNary 390, Roseburg 394, Crater 408, St. Mary’s 415.
TEAM SCORES: St. Mary’s 338, Crater 379, Roseburg 390, McNary 442, Grants Pass 445, North Bend 452, Marshfield 493, Bandon 494, Cottage Grove 507.
SCHOOLS: St. Mary’s 753, Roseburg 784, Crater 787, Grants Pass 788, North Bend 822, McNary 832, Bandon 856.
NORTH MEDFORD SWEPT: The North Medford boys tennis team was unable to get into the win column against Southwest Conference foes Grants Pass and Sheldon at North Medford High School.
Grants Pass won 6-0 and Sheldon came out on top, 8-0.
Black Tornado top seed Dylan Almanza came close against Reece Polen of Grants Pass but Polen rallied after losing the opening set, 2-6, 6-2 (10-5).
SHELDON 8, NORTH MEDFORD 0
SINGLES: Brooks Lerfald, She, d. Dylan Almanza, 6-0, 6-0; Cam Mirabile, She, d. Marco Meza, 6-0, 6-0; Owen Mau, She, d. Michael Bui, 6-2, 6-0; Carter Neuman, She, d. Jimmy Borringer, 6-0, 6-0.
DOUBLES: Andy Vestal-Alex Song, She, d. Casey Magins-Robert Dozier, 6-2, 6-1; Liam Warner-Nathan Yeh, She, d. Zach Shoop-Will Johnson, 6-1, 6-0; Jacob Eddy-Luis Tort, She, Brian Bilanca; Ethan Wagner-Jack Feist, She, won by default.
GRANTS PASS 6, NORTH MEDFORD 0
SINGLES: Reece Polen, GP, d. Dylan Almanza, 2-6, 6-2 (10-5); Nathan Campbell, GP, d. Marco Meza, 6-0, 6-3; Matt Poole, GP, d. Michael Bui, 6-0, 6-3.
DOUBLES: Ben Gaulik-James Baertchiger, GP, d. Casey Hagins-Robert Dozier, 6-0, 6-1; Jacob Dryden-Dawson Hinton, GP, d. Zack Shoop-Carter Rawlins, 6-0, 6-2; Chance Maude-Phil Kakaradee, GP, d. Jimmy Barringer-Brian Bilanca, 6-1, 6-1.
ASHLAND 4, BARLOW 4, tie: At Roseburg, Ashland won three of four singles matches, led by Sascha Wells, who topped Barlow’s Angelina Utt, 6-1, 6-0, in a clash of No. 2 seeds in a tie with the Bruins in the Roseburg Tournament at Umpqua Tennis Center.
The Grizzlies’ top three doubles teams were upended by Barlow.