Barnes brilliant as Cavers advance

GRANTS PASS — Last season, the Grants Pass softball team got the cold shoulder from Westview in the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs.

Grants Pass ace Morgan Barnes was on that losing squad and didn't want her fifth-ranked Cavers to go down to the same team twice in Friday's quarterfinal game at Grants Pass High.

Barnes struck out 19 batters and received a game-winning hit from Tara Glover in the bottom of the ninth inning to advance the Cavers to the semifinals with a 4-3 triumph over Westview.

"I can't believe it," said Grants Pass coach Tom Blanchard. "Every time I see (Barnes) compete, I'm more and more impressed and admire her. She always finds a way to get it done."

On Tuesday, Grants Pass (25-4) will head to Eugene to take on Southwest Conference foe Sheldon. The Cavers have already beaten the Irish three times this season.

With second-ranked Roseburg in the semifinals mix as well thanks to Friday's 12-2 win over North Salem, three of the remaining four teams are from the SWC.

After Barnes and Jamie Gregory each singled in the ninth, Emily Woolf reached on an error to load the bases for GP. With one out, Glover plated Barnes with a single to get the victory.

Glover had a chance to win the game in the bottom of the seventh with two outs, but was robbed of a home run on a leaping grab by Wildcats center fielder Jenna Krogh.

Chelsey Chamberlain put Grants Pass out in front with a two-run homer in the first inning, but Westview put together a three-run second inning to grab a short-lived 3-2 lead.

"They had one really good hit and some real fluke plays and managed to parlay it into three runs," said Blanchard. "Morgan had control of it for most of the game except that one inning."

After showing their power in opening frame, the Cavers opted to play small-ball in the bottom of the third, getting two consecutive singles followed by a sacrifice to put runners on second and third.

Karleigh Prestianni took advantage, scoring Gregory on a sacrifice fly to knot the contest 3-all for GP.

The stalemate held until the ninth as Barnes and Westview pitcher Dylan Mizer duked it out to the end.

"Our kids our pretty mature, they don't seem to let things bother them too much," said Blanchard. "They don't seem to let the pressure get to them. Whether it's a semifinal, quarterfinal or state playoff game — if they get behind, they'll chip away and find a way to win."

"I think our kids were happy to get a win, it doesn't matter who it's against," added the coach. "It was a good win for us."

Barnes allowed six hits and four walks and two earned runs.

Glover went 3-for-5 with a leadoff triple in the first inning and Chamberlain was 2-for-4.

Westview 030 000 000 — 3 6 1

Grants Pass 201 000 001 — 4 9 1

Mizer and Brown; Barnes and Woolf. W — Barnes (15-3). L — Mizer. 3B — GP: Glover. HR — GP: Chamberlain.

SHELDON 4, MCMINNVILLE 1 — At McMinnville, Sheldon, the No. 3 seed from the SWC, advanced into the semifinals of the state playoffs for the first time in school history.

The Irish (18-11) used a strong pitching performance from Sienna Stanley, a two-run home run by Taylor Pangilinan and error-free defense to knock off No. 3 McMinnville.

Stanley struck out two and walked two but, more important, only allowed two hits.

Sheldon 000 300 1 — 4 6 0

McMinnville 000 100 0 — 1 2 1

Stanley and Ta. Brown; Bertrand and Bartholomew. 2B — S: J. Patterson. HR — S: Pangilinan.

Class 4A

HENLEY 2, NORTH MARION 1 — At Aurora, Autumn Wedan tossed a two-hitter and Dakota Doke belted a home run for Skyline Conference champion Henley.

The Hornets play Scappoose in Tuesday's semifinals.

Henley 000 100 1 — 2 4 1

North Marion 100 000 0 — 1 2 0

Wedan and Doke; Pack and Pringle. W — Wedan. L — Pack. 2B — H: Driessen, Grant, Wedan. HR — H: Doke.

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