Century upsets third-ranked Grizz

ASHLAND — Ashland's promising season was cut short Tuesday when the No. 10 Century Jaguars upset the third-ranked Grizzlies 6-4 in the second round of the Class 5A state playoffs.

The Grizzlies (21-5), the Southern Sky Conference champion, had dreams of a semifinal appearance or better, but a strong performance from Century freshman pitcher Montana McNealy and gritty plate appearances from the entire lineup dashed Ashland's hopes.

"I'm definitely disappointed because I wasn't ready for the year to be over," Ashland coach Misty Potochnick said. "I felt like we had good things we could accomplish. But sometimes a bad day happens and it just happened the wrong day for us."

Century will play North Eugene on Friday in a quarterfinal contest.

Ashland junior pitcher Bella Pribyl struck out three of the four batters faced in the first inning. Not to be outdone, the left-handed McNealy responded by striking out two in a three-up, three-down Ashland first.

The Jaguars found the scoreboard first. Eeliyana Paraiso led off the third with a walk. After a pair of ground outs moved her to third, Paraiso scored on a ground-rule double by senior Brittne Stephens.

Ashland responded in the bottom of the inning when a single by senior Sammi Gilbert brought sophomore Elizabeth Westmoreland home from third to tie it at 1-1.

Junior Jaimee Cannon led off the Century fourth with a ground-rule double. After two Pribyl strikeouts, Cannon scored on a line-drive double by Paraiso to give Century (20-8) a 2-1 edge.

The Jaguars put the game away in the fifth.

After Stephens reached on an error, McNealy joined her on base with a single. The Grizzlies' second error of the inning loaded the bases with two outs. A Pribyl pitch in the dirt got by senior catcher Kylie Cantrell to score a runner from third.

Pribyl went on to walk the next two batters she faced, the second allowing freshman Sammi Coates to trot home. Paraiso continued a great day at the plate with a two-run double to center field and by inning's end, the Jaguars had built a 6-1 lead.

The Grizzlies rallied in the bottom of the fifth for a single run. Junior Caitlin Williams led off with a single and went to third on Westmoreland's double. One run would score on a sacrifice grounder by junior Sarah Silbowitz and a second run came home on a double to center field by Gilbert.

Ashland tacked on its final run in the seventh on an RBI ground out by Gilbert, but the Grizzlies could get no closer.

Century 001 140 0 — 6 7 1

Ashland 001 020 1 — 4 7 3

McNealy and Worelty; Pribyl, Ross (6) and Cantrell. W — McNealy. L —Ross. 2B — C: Cannon, Stevens

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