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SOFTBALL: Cavers club North Medford for SWC sweep

North Medford’s stranglehold on Southwest Conference softball supremacy took another big hit Saturday, with visiting Grants Pass securing a sweep over the reigning champions, 13-8 and 12-5, at North Medford High.

The potent teams combined for 29 hits in the opener and 24 in the nightcap to make for a rough day for those who stepped inside the circle.

North Medford has earned nine straight conference titles, but it was Grants Pass that was tabbed as the SWC favorite this year in a preseason coaches poll.

The opening game was tied at 5-all through three innings before Grants Pass (13-1, 4-1 SWC) used a 6-1 surge to take control.

Isabelle Cruz finished with three doubles in going 3-for-4 with two runs and four RBIs for the Cavers, while Toni Stevens was 4-for-4 with three runs and two RBIs, Grace Gaither 3-for-5 with three runs and two RBIs, Devin Ireland 2-for-4 with one run and two RBIs and Brooklyn Hurd 2-for-3.

For North Medford (7-7, 0-4) in the opener, Lauren Barry was 4-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs, while Grace Johnson drove in two runs and Kylie Baker had three RBIs.

Grants Pass surged to a 4-0 lead through one inning in Game 2, then closed out the contest with a six-run seventh inning. Leading the charge for the Cavers were Maddie Naylor (3-for-3, three RBIs) and Cruz (three RBIs).

North Medford saw Chelby Smalley, Grace Johnson and Makenna Austin each get two hits in the nightcap, with Kylie Baker driving in a pair of runs and Johnson scoring twice.

FIRST GAME

Grants Pass2213320—13183

North Medford2301020—8110

Rund and Stevens; Ivens and Smalley. W — Rund. L — Ivens. 2B — GP: Gaither, Cruz 3, Stevens, Naylor, Ireland; NM: Barry. 3B — GP: Padgett. HR — GP: Gaither.

SECOND GAME

Grants Pass4100016—12143

North Medford0120002—5104

Padgett and Stevens; Ivens and Smalley. W — Padgett. L — Ivens. 2B — GP: Gaither, Stevens; NM: Johnson. 3B — GP: Stevens; NM: Smalley.

ROSEBURG 12-2, SOUTH MEDFORD 0-1: At Roseburg, South Medford welcomed back injured pitcher Maddie Dalke, and the senior responded immediately with a six-hitter in Game 2 of the Southwest Conference doubleheader.

Dalke was in a cast for six weeks on her right, or throwing, wrist after suffering an early season injury. She had it removed Friday, played first base in the opener Saturday and pitched in the nightcap, striking out three, walking one and hitting a batter.

Roseburg’s Madysn Blevins homered in the fifth inning for a 2-0 lead, helping withstand Lanie Rodriguez’s RBI double in the sixth for South (4-11, 1-4 SWC).

Matlyn Leetch and Rodriguez were each 2-for-3.

In the opener, Leetch and Dalke had the Panthers’ lone hits.

FIRST GAME

South Medford00000—020

Roseburg001(11)x—12110

Truex, Garcia (4), Rodriguez (4) and Bratcher; Blevins and Bergmann. W — Blevins. L — Truex (3-5). 2B — R: Allen.

SECOND GAME

South Medford0000010—160

Roseburg010010x—260

Dalke and Bratcher; Gibson and Williams, Bergmann (6). W — Gibson. L — Dalke (0-1). 2B — SM: Leetch, Rodriguez. HR — R: Blevins.

EAGLE POINT 25-19, SPRINGFIELD 0-3: At Springfield, Eagle Point junior Areona Conte set a single-game and doubleheader record for RBIs with 10 in the five-inning opener and five more in the five-inning nightcap for 15 overall during the Midwestern League rout.

Conte went 5-for-6 with two home runs, three runs and 10 RBIs for Eagle Point (8-4, 6-0 MWL) in Game 1, then was 3-for-3 with one more homer and five RBIs before being relieved in Game 2.

Bailey Worrell was 4-for-5 and teammates Riley Shopp and Chloe Hurst each had three hits for the Eagles in the opener, with Shopp throwing a one-hitter with five strikeouts.

In Game 2, Ashley Oppelt drove in four runs while Coleen Thompson was 3-for-3 with two RBIs and Presley Brown 3-for-4 with two RBIs.

FIRST GAME

Eagle Point62(11)33—25241

Springfield00000—014

Shopp and Thompson; Vargas, Kepperud (3) and Green. W — Shopp (6-4). L — Vargas. 2B — EP: Conte 2, Shopp 2, Stephens. 3B — EP: Hurst. HR — EP: Conte 2 (2).

SECOND GAME

Eagle Point(13)2202—19140

Springfield20100—333

Eggleston, Shopp (4) and Thompson; Silva-Martinez and Vargas, Adams (4). W — Eggleston (2-0). L — Silva-Martinez. 2B — EP: Shopp, Oppelt, Brown, Thompson 2. HR — EP: Conte (3).

THURSTON 15-16, ASHLAND 2-0: At Ashland, Thurston won the first Midwestern League game in six innings, the second in five, raising its record to 13-1, 6-0 in the MWL.

In Game 1, junior Ella Hart belted the first two home runs of her career, solo shots in the second and fourth innings to account for the Grizzlies’ runs. Ashland (2-11, 1-7) managed four hits.

Eight of the Colts’ runs off Grizzly pitcher Ruby Adams were unearned.

In the nightcap, Ashland had two hits, by Madison Read and Emma Vandersnick. Pitcher Gabby Heiken allowed 10 runs in three relief innings, but only one was earned. She struck out six.

FIRST GAME

Thurston221325—15141

Ashland010100—247

Stevens and Boring; Adams and Hakes. W — Stevens. L — Adams (1-6). 2B — T: Keefauver, Hallett. 3B — T: Decker. HR — T: Boring, Decker; A: Hart 2.

SECOND GAME

Thurston42055—16140

Ashland00000—026

Stevens, Tuntland (5) and Jegtvig; Adams, Heiken (3) and Hakes, Farrow (4). W — Stevens. L — Adams (1-7). 2B — T: Burke, Keefauver, Jegtvig. HR — T: Stevens.

NORTH VALLEY 7-9, PHOENIX 3-8: At Merlin, after defeating North Valley by the 10-run rule on Tuesday, Phoenix came up short on both ends of the Skyline Conference doubleheader.

In the opener, Ashley Gurr had two hits and one RBI for Phoenix (6-5, 1-2 Skyline). Josie Bolstad’s two-run double sparked a three-run second inning that gave the Pirates a 3-2 lead.

For North Valley (6-6, 1-2), Tayler Neelans went 3-4 and scored twice.

Phoenix took the lead three times in the second game but the Knights scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh for the win.

The Pirates tallied the go-ahead run to take an 8-7 lead in the top of the seventh on consecutive singles by Halie Bowman, Raelyssa Goff and Kate Hanson followed by Bolstad’s sacrifice fly.

Makenna Huff’s single scored the winning run for North Valley.

Phoenix received two hits each from Bowman, Bolstad and Gurr.

FIRST GAME

Phoenix0300000—380

North Valley201103x—7111

Goff and Bolstad; Huff and Smith. W — Huff. L — Goff (3-2). 2B — P: Bolstad; NV: Herklotz, Johnston.

SECOND GAME

Phoenix4000031—8141

North Valley0300222—9141

Mathewson and Bowman; Huff and Smith. W — Huff. L — Mathewson (3-3). 2B — P: Gurr; NV: Kirkland, Johnston.

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