North earns split as tourney unfolds
North Medford didn’t lack for excitement as it opened its 33-team North Medford Spring Break Invitational softball tournament with a couple of nail-biting games at U.S. Cellular Community Park Monday.
The Black Tornado scored two runs in the seventh inning to edge Barlow, 3-2, in its first game, then fell by the same 3-2 score to Dallas, when the Dragons tallied in the eighth inning.
The Black Tornado dropped to 3-2 overall.
The tournament features a handful of local teams and concludes today.
In both games, senior Rylan Austin played a leading role in the circle and at the plate.
Against Barlow, her two-run single in the bottom of the seventh produced the tying and winning runs.
Against Dallas, her solo home run in the seventh forced extra innings.
North Medford coach Chris Campbell would have liked two wins but was pleased with how his team competed.
Barlow fell to 3-3 with the loss. Dallas was the Class 5A state runner-up last season and is 5-0 this year.
In the win over Barlow, the Bruins scored twice in the first inning on a Lexi Geary triple.
North Medford got one back in the fifth, when Kyleigh Lopez walked, stole second and scored on an error in center field.
In the seventh, Lopez walked and Lauren Barry singled before Austin’s drive to left-center.
“That was a good battle for us,” said Campbell. “The girls really competed well and executed on some plays, and we were able to pull out a victory. Rylan came in and shut them down.”
Austin scattered seven hits and struck out 11 with one walk.
“In typical Rylan fashion, she worked well, hit a lot of spots and threw a lot of first-pitch strikes,” said Campbell. “She got ahead of a lot of hitters and got them to chase.”
Against Dallas, the Black Tornado trailed 2-0 when Alex Barry singled and scored on an error in the fifth inning. Austin knotted it two frames later.
In the eighth, each team started with a runner at second base per international rules. Dallas’ runner, Jordan Dippel, scored after an error and a single by Kaelynn Simmons. North Medford failed to bring its runner, Lily Gann, home.
The Black Tornado loaded the bases in the first with no outs and the third with one out and came up empty.
“If we score runs there, it’s a different ballgame and they’re chasing us,” said Campbell.
Alex Barry was 3-for-4 and Austin 2-for-3.
In the circle, Austin allowed six hits and fanned five without a walk.
North Medford 000 010 2 — 3 3 1
Barlow 200 000 0 — 2 7 2
Austin and Smalley; Geary and Gernhart. W — Austin (3-0). L — Geary. 2B — B: Soukup. 3B — B: Geary.
North Medford 000 010 10 — 2 9 2
Dallas 101 000 01 — 3 6 1
Austin and Smalley; Simmons and Wallace. W — Wallace. L — Austin (3-1). 2B — D: Classen. HR — NM: Austin; D: Dippel.
SOUTH WINS, LOSES: Junior Jaden Alexander smacked two solo home runs in a 7-5 South Medford victory over Sprague of Salem, but the Panthers dropped their second outing, 13-4, to Thurston.
In the opener, Cassidy Clark had three hits and scored what proved to be the winning run for South (2-3). Maddie Dalke added two hits and two RBIs for the Panthers.
South Medford center-fielder Lexi Jones came up big with four assists, including throwing out three runners at home, and made several outstanding running catches.
Against Thurston, Alexander smacked two doubles with an RBI. Other Panthers with two hits were Clark and Matlyn Leetch.
Sprague 001 004 0 — 5 11 5
South Medford 302 110 x — 7 9 3
Barna and Lenaburg; Wolford and Clarke. W — Wolford. L — Barna. 2B — S: McCuisten, Brown; SM: Dalke. HR — SM: Alexander 2.
South Medford 200 110 0 — 4 8 9
Thurston 410 422 x — 13 11 0
Dalke, Wolford (1), Jones (6) and Clarke; Stout and Schmidt. W — Stout. L — Dalke. 2B SM: Alexander, Leetch, Wolford; T: Stout, Keesauver. 3B — T: Burke, Keesauver
GRANTS PASS SPLITS: Central of Monmouth handed Grants Pass its first loss of the season, 7-5, after the Cavers defeated South Salem 16-1 in five innings.
Haley Dougherty went 3-for-3 with two RBIs to pace the Grants Pass attack against South Salem.
Jordan Kuykendall and Halleigh Noga both had two hits for the Cavers (3-1) .
Central rallied for four runs in the bottom of the sixth to erase a 5-3 Grants Pass lead.
Against Central, Noga had two hits and two RBIs while Dougherty and Devin Ireland had two hits each.
Grants Pass senior pitcher Alyssa Etheridge (3-1) had 16 strikeouts on the day.
South Salem 100 00 — 1 3 2
Grants Pass 041 (11)x — 16 11 1
Benavidez, Reece (3) and Fox; Etheridge and Ireland. W — Etheridge. L — Benavidez. 2B — GP: Naylor. 3B — SS: McGrath; GP: Dougherty.
Grants Pass 000 104 0 — 5 9 3
Central 002 014 x — 7 9 2
Etheridge and Ireland; Cole, Shimanek (7) and Farley. W — Cole. L — Ethridge (3-1). 2B — GP: Noga; C: Hyre, Farley.
EAGLE POINT SWEEPS: Eagle Point shut out Wilsonville, 3-0, and beat Lebanon, 11-7, to improve to 4-1.
Against Wilsonville (3-2), winning pitcher Riley Shopp hit a two-run triple in the sixth inning after scoring on an error in the third. She allowed two hits with eighth strikeouts in six innings before Miyah Smith fanned the side in the seventh.
Against Lebanon (0-6), Smith recorded three hits, including a three-run home run in the third, Shopp added a two-run triple to finish with three RBIs and Kelsey McFall-Whitlatch added two hits.
Wilsonville 000 000 0 — 0 2 2
Eagle Point 001 002 x — 3 4 0
Krueger and Miller; Shopp, Smith (7) and Thompson. W — Shopp (2-1). L — Krueger. 3B — EP: Shopp.
Eagle Point 424 010 0 — 11 11 2
Lebanon 100 303 0 — 7 5 2
Shopp, Smith (5), Shopp (7) and Thompson; Johnson, Sneddon (4) and Chase. W — Shopp (3-1). L — Johnson. 2B — EP: Thompson, Shopp; L: Whitlatch, Bender. 3B — EP: Shopp. HR — EP: Smith (1).
CASCADE CHRISTIAN FALLS: Scio defeated Cascade Christian 9-3, and Amity topped the Challengers 10-4.
Against Scio, Cascade Christian got two hits each from Kara Palmer, Megan Reed and Katelyn Willard. Palmer also drove in a run.
Against Amity, Willard struck out 10 batters and allowed three earned runs. Alie Modrell had the Challengers’ only two hits and drove in two runs.
Amity pitcher Brittnie Brown struck out 17.
Cascade Christian 000 021 0 — 3 7 3
Scio 133 110 x — 9 8 2
Willard, Payne (5) and Modrell; Parazoo, Mikolas (6), Pollard (6) and Zeiher. W — Parazoo. L — Willard (2-4). 2B — S: Phillips, Reger. 3B — S: Phillips.
Amity 000 342 1 — 10 10 1
Cascade Christian 300 010 0 — 4 2 8
Brown and B. Wright; Willard, Payne (7) and Modrell. W — Brown. L — Willard (2-5). 2B — A: Croxford, G. Wright, B. Wright; CC: Modrell. 3B — A: Rolston.