PREP ROUNDUP: South finishes off rare sweep of North
Freshman Jordan Knutson came up big during a few pivotal moments of the South Medford softball team’s wild and historic Southwest Conference sweep of North Medford, which was capped off Monday after Saturday’s suspension of play.
Knutson, who pitched nearly all nine innings of Game 2, knocked in the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth inning Saturday and the Panthers ultimately led 7-4 before play was suspended in the bottom of the ninth after the lights went off at Lithia & Driveway Fields.
When play was resumed Monday, sophomore Kaycee Hudson helped close the door with a scoreless frame to clinch South Medford’s first-ever sweep of North Medford in a three-game season series.
The Panthers (17-3, 8-1 SWC) won the first game Saturday, 10-2.
Knutson provided a key moment in the pitcher’s circle in Game 2 after she allowed North Medford to load the bases in the bottom of the seventh but responded with three straight strikeouts to escape the jam.
Knutson struck out nine over 8 1/3 innings, allowing four runs — zero earned — on five hits and two walks.
With the Black Tornado leading 4-3 heading into the top of the seventh inning, Shelby Hillyer singled and Maleyah Thoele doubled to left to plate Hillyer and tie the game 4-all for South Medford, sending the rivalry into extra innings.
After two scoreless extra frames, Knutson drove in Brianna Turrey to put the Panthers in front for good. Thoele then provided the Panthers some cushion with a run-scoring double, and Hudson finished the frame with a sacrifice fly that scored Theole.
Thoele finished 3-for-4 with two runs and a pair of RBIs and Hudson drove in two runs.
Rhyan Hamlin went 2-for-6 with a run scored for North Medford (9-10, 3-6), which scored three first-inning runs and another in the sixth to put itself in position to salvage a split in the doubleheader.
In the opener, Hudson pitched a complete game with 10 strikeouts. She allowed one earned run on three hits and four walks.
The Panthers’ Kirsten Morgan went 3-for-4 with a double, triple, run and an RBI and Nicole Ledendecker was 2-for-4 with a two-run double during the Panthers’ seven-run fifth inning that broke the contest open.
Hudson and Ledendecker; Hartzheim, Urban (5) and Brousseau. W — Hudson (11-2). L — Hartzheim. 2B — SM: Ledendecker, Morgan. 3B — SM: Morgan.
Knutson, Hudson (9) and Hillyer; Urban and Brousseau. W — Knutson. L (6-1) — Urban. 2B — SM: Thoele 2, Morgan.
SUTHERLIN 24-21, CASCADE CHRISTIAN 2-5: Cascade Christian’s big first inning of Game 2 provided the Challengers with a brief lead but Sutherlin’s offense was too much thereafter in the Far West League sweep at L&D Fields.
Callie Sweem hit a two-run triple for the Challengers (0-18, 0-6 FWL) during their five-run first inning. Maile Scaglione also added a two-run single in the frame and Bella Williams bunted in a run.
In the opener, Sutherlin (6-9, 3-3) scored 14 runs in the second inning to grab control.
The Challengers’ McKenzie Bonner finished 2-for-2 with a double and Katelynn Reed added an RBI double.
Both games lasted just three innings because of the three-inning, 15-run mercy rule.
Westrom and Englestad; Sweem and Williams. W — Westrom. L — Sweem. 2B — CC: MacDonald, Vermillion, Westom; CC: Reed, Bonner. 3B — S: Radmer, Flores, Westrom. HR — S: MacDonald.
Westrom and Englestad; Bonner and Williams. W — Westrom. L — Bonner. 2B — S: MacDonald, Vermillion; CC: Reed. 3B — CC: Sweem.
ALL-SWC: Buoyed by a balanced showing led by Oliver Ausland, who was runner-up with a 6-over-par 78, Grants Pass was able to clinch the Southwest Conference season title at Rogue Valley Country Club. Ausland was the SWC’s leading individual scorer this spring.
The Cavemen, who also received an 82 from Clayton Pilcher, tied for the third-lowest round with a 330. South Medford was runner-up with a 355 and North Medford finished third at 365.
South Medford’s Blake Boutwell was one of three players that tied for third individually in the sixth counting tournament of the season with an 82, and Carter McDougall added an 87.
Zach Payton led North Medford with an 88.
Medalist honors at RVCC went to South Eugene’s Owen Davis-Piger, who scored a 76.
TEAM SCORES: 1, Grants Pass, 330; 2, South Medford, 355; 3, North Medford, 365; 4, Sheldon, 366; 5, South Eugene, 378; 6, Roseburg, 444.
INDIVIDUAL SCORES (Top 5): 1, Owen Davis-Piger, SE, 76; 2, Oliver Ausland, GP, 78; T3, Tim Morach, SH, and Clayton Pilcher, GP, and Blake Boutwell, SM, 82.
GRANTS PASS (330): Oliver Ausland 39-39—78, Messiah Gilbert 44-41—85, Clayton Pilcher 43-39—82, Eli Briseno 41-44—85.
SOUTH MEDFORD (355): Blake Boutwell 40-42—82, Kyle Reed 47-46—93, Max Woolf 42-51—93, Carter McDougall 40-47—87.
NORTH MEDFORD (365): Trey Neff 48-46—94, Ty Neff 46-47—93, Andrew Plankenhorn 45-45—90, Zach Payton 46-42—88.
ST. MARY’S 6, CASCADE CHRISTIAN 2: St. Mary’s Titus Stark-Seymour captured an 8-2 pro set win over Cascade Christian’s Brandon Parker in a battle of the top-seeded singles as the Crusaders were victorious at Fichtner-Mainwaring Park.
The Crusaders’ Jackson Rasmussen got the best of the Challengers’ Noah Harrington, 8-1, in the No. 2 singles match.
In doubles, the Crusaders’ No. 1 duo of Jackson Lopiano and Calvin Chmelir bested the Challengers’ Bryson Cannon and Seth Thomas, 8-3.
SINGLES: Titus Stark-Seymour, SM, d. Brandon Parker, 8-2; Jackson Rasmussen, SM, d. Noah Harrington, 8-1; Sriram Dinesh, SM, d. Bryson Cannon, 8-1; Ayden Miller, SM, d. Jonah Parker, 8-2.
DOUBLES: Jackson Lopiano-Calvin Chmelir, SM, d. Bryson Cannon-Seth Thomas, 8-3; Alex Wilk-Simon Devries, SM, d. Joshua Clark-Jonah Parker, 8-2; Seth Thomas-Brandon Parker, CC, d. Lucas Peterson-Michael Doherty, 8-2; Noah Harrington-Joshua Clark, CC, d. Caleb Bingham-Nate Lemley, 8-5.