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PREP ROUNDUP: Panthers pinch high-flying Eagles

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South Medford's Hudson fans 12 in two-hit shutout of 5A Eagle Point

No team has scored more runs at the Class 5A softball level than Eagle Point this spring, so South Medford certainly knew it had its hands full Thursday afternoon at Lithia & Driveway Fields.

What the 6A Panthers couldn’t have known is that they would be able to accomplish something that no other team has this season against the Eagles by the time they exited the field.

Sophomore pitcher Kaycee Hudson was dominant inside the circle and limited the Eagles to only two hits in a complete-game effort that produced the first shutout of Eagle Point this spring in a 5-0 triumph.

Eagle Point (12-6) had scored 196 total runs to average a whopping 11.5 runs per game entering Thursday’s nonleague contest.

Conversely, South Medford (14-3) showed why it is one of six 6A teams to allow 29 runs or less thus far.

“They’ve scored more runs in 5A than any other team,” said Panthers head coach Shane Ramsay, “but Kaycee did a nice job pitching. She was hitting her spots and locating well.”

Hudson struck out 12 with no walks and one hit batter. She found steady support among her nearby defensive infielders, who recorded every out that was not a strikeout by the Eagles.

“Kaycee had some good pitches that just produced weak hit balls, and we made good plays on them,” added Ramsay.

It didn’t help Eagle Point’s cause that the Eagles were playing their first game in six days, and hadn’t exactly seen the likes of someone like Hudson inside the circle in quite a while.

“We’ve kind of gone through a stretch of games where the pitching has not had much speed to it,” said Eagle Point head coach John White, “so we have not seen anybody quite like Kaycee in a while, and it was a big adjustment to make in a short time.”

“Kaycee threw a really good game, though,” added White. “She hit her spots really well and you have to give her credit, too.”

With Hudson setting the tone on defense, South Medford simply chipped away on offense to stack up a lead on the Eagles. The Panthers scored a single run in each of the first three innings before tallying two runs in the fifth to seal the deal.

“After a while it all just adds up,” added White.

A two-base error allowed Hudson to move into scoring position in the bottom of the first. Eagle Point junior pitcher Kyra Smith induced three straight groundouts to end the frame but Hudson advanced to score following the first two putouts, with Kirsten Morgan getting an RBI.

The second inning saw Nicole Ledendecker produce a leadoff single and eventually score on a passed ball during a good two-out battle between Smith and Shelby Hillyer.

The Panthers pushed their lead to 3-0 in the third when June Woster supplied a one-out single, moved her way around the bases with some heady baserunning and scored on a rope to center field by Maddy Fullenwider.

“Maddy’s our only senior and she’s done a nice job coming through when we need it this year,” said Ramsay. “She’s been pretty clutch.”

Eagle Point’s best chance at breaking up the shutout bid by Hudson came in the fifth, when Smith singled to right field and then courtesy runner Sage Teixeira became the first Eagle to reach second base following a passed ball.

Hudson, however, took care of matters with an inning-ending strikeout on four pitches to end the threat.

In the bottom of the fifth, South put its stamp on matters behind a two-out single by Morgan, who stole second base and scored moments later on another line-drive single by Fullenwider. The senior scored after a ball-four wild pitch moved her to third base and Ledendecker forced the issue on the basepaths.

Jocelyn Hanan picked up EP’s second hit in the sixth inning.

Eagle Point0000000—023

South Medford111020x—570

Smith and Nielsen; Hudson and Ledendecker. W — Hudson. L — Smith.

Boys Tennis

SOUTH MEDFORD 6, ROSEBURG 2: At Roseburg, South Medford swept the singles matches, with Stephen Wisnovsky not giving up a single game in the No. 1 spot, and used a No. 1 doubles win by Samuel Sykes and Elijah Spencer to lock up the Southwest Conference victory.

Wisnovsky won 6-0, 6-0 over Peyton Seal of Roseburg to set the tone in singles, with Andrean Gurov, Josue Maldana and Antonio Perez-Cansino also posting dominant singles triumphs.

Sykes and Spencer teamed to beat Roseburg’s Logan Bishop and Massimo Falleni, 6-4, 6-4.

SINGLES: Stephen Wisnovsky, SM, d. Peyton Seal, 6-0, 6-0; Andrean Gurov, SM, d. Nick Brown, 6-2, 6-0; Josue Maldana, SM, d. Esteban Webber-Bernal, 6-2, 6-1; Antonio Perez-Cansino, SM, d. Carter Dryden, 6-0, 6-1.

DOUBLES: Samuel Sykes-Elijah Spencer, SM, d. Logan Bishop-Massimo Falleni, 6-4, 6-4; Michael Shellard-William Young-Seidemann, R, d. Jaden Krupp-Tobias Whitley, 6-0, 6-2; Brian Powell-Jacob Smith, R, d. Andrew Oppermann-Craig Israelsen, 6-2, 6-0; Diego Bencomo-Samuel Shterenberg, SM, d. Conner Dryden-Paviat Rai, 6-0, 6-2.

Photo by Denise Baratta. Kaycee Hudson pitches for the South Medford Panthers Thursday against Eagle Point at the Lithia and Driveway Fields in Medford.
Photo By Denise Baratta. South Medford runner Nicole Ledendecker makes it safe to second base while Eagle Point's Hailey Waldon awaits a throw. Ledendecker would go on to score for South Medford.
Photo by Denise Baratta. Kyra Smith piches for the Eagle Point Eagles Thursday against South Medford.
Photo by Denise Baratta. Jade Lierman, left, celebrates with teammate Sydney Boren after catching a deep hit to the outfield and shutting down a scoring attempt in the fifth inning Thursday by South Medford.
Photo by Denise Baratta. South Medford's Kirsten Morgan rounds third on the way to home for a run in the fifth inning Thursday against Eagle Point.
Photo by Denise Baratta. Eagle Point softball coach John White instructs his players between innings Thursday.
Photo by Denise Baratta. South Medford softball coach Shane Ramsay instructs players between innings in a matchup Thursday against Eagle Point.