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PREP SOFTBALL: Tornado routs Axe to end SWC slide

Lauren Barry had two extra-base hits and three RBIs, Allie Hertager’s first-inning triple set the tone and North Medford put an end to its six-game losing streak to start Southwest Conference play by overpowering South Eugene 15-1 Tuesday at North Medford High.

Barry and Hertager had two hits apiece to lead a 12-hit attack for the Tornado, which led 5-1 before exploding for 10 runs in the fourth to pull away.

The victory, North Medford’s first since a nonleague win over Central Catholic on April 2, improved the Tornado to 8-9 overall and 1-6 in the SWC. South Eugene fell to 0-12 overall and 0-7 in league play.

The Tornado got on the board early when Neveah Smith scored on fielder’s choice ground out and Kyleigh Lopez on an error. Hertager’s triple to right-center plated Grace Johnson, giving the Tornado a 3-0 lead heading into the second.

North added two in the third, followed by the fourth-inning explosion, which included a three-run double by Johnson and an RBI double by Barry. Later, Barry’s RBI triple capped the inning and provided what turned out to be the final score in the mercy rule-shortened game.

Tornado starting pitcher Ella Ivens gave up one run on two hits in four innings to pick up the win. She struck out four without a walk. Makenna Austin pitched one inning of relief, allowing a hit but no runs.

South Eugene starter Grace Clark surrendered 15 runs, 13 earned, on 12 hits.

South Eugene00100—134

North Medford302(10)x—15120

Clark and Kochevar; Ivens, Austin (5) and Smalley. W — Ivens. L — Clark. 2B — NM: Barry, Smalley, Johnson. 3B — NM: Barry.

GRANTS PASS 15, SOUTH MEDFORD 0, 5 inn.: At Grants Pass, Skylar Padgett and Emily Rund combined to pitch a no-hitter for Grants Pass in the Southwest Conference game.

Padgett started and went the first four innings for the Cavers (15-2, 5-2 SWC), striking out three batters and walking one. Rund pitched a perfect fifth, striking out one.

Grants Pass scored seven runs in the first inning and added six in the fourth against the Panthers (5-12, 2-5).

Devin Ireland was 3-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs for the Cavers, Kylie Rucker was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and three runs and Maddie Naylor drove in three.

South Medford00000—007

Grants Pass7116x—15120

Dalke and Bratcher; Padgett, Rund (5) and Ireland. W — Padgett. L — Dalke. 2B — GP: Hurd, Ireland.

ASHLAND 14, ILLINOIS VALLEY 1, 5 inn.: At Cave Junction, Ashland’s Gabby Heiken tossed a one-hitter from the circle and was backed with 17 hits as the Grizzlies won by virtue of the 10-run mercy rule after five innings of play in the nonconference contest.

Heiken yielded just one unearned run in the first inning, struck out four and walked one.

After racking up five runs in the top of the second inning, the Grizzlies (5-12) picked up a two-run single from Shelby Brown to cap a four-run third as Ashland bumped its lead up to 9-1.

Brown finished with two hits and three RBIs while teammate Faith Farrow added a pair of hits with two RBIs and a run scored.

Ashland05432—14172

Illinois Valley10000—116

Heiken and Hakes, Farrow (3); Menning and Wylie. W — Heiken (3-5). L — Menning. 2B — A: Gorringe. 3B — A: Hart.

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