Chieftains advance to state as No. 2 seed

CENTRAL POINT — Rogue River continued its strong softball play in the second half of the season and secured the Sunset League's No. 2 berth to the Class 3A state playoffs with a 6-2 win over Cascade Christian Thursday at Crater High.

Ashley Rabitoy homered twice to lead the Chieftains.

The two teams tied for second place in league with 8-4 record.

Rogue River's first-round game is Tuesday at xxxx, the No. 2 team from the Lewis and Clark League.

The Challengers, meanwhile, play for the Sunset's No. 3 berth today in a home game against Gold Beach. The contest is at 4 p.m. at U.S. Cellular Community Park.

The Chieftains won their third straight game and are 13-5 overall. They lost only one league game the second half of the season.

"I think I'm as happy with our progress as with the win," said Rogue River coach Dennis Artoff. "We've been playing better all along. Coming down the stretch here, we've been minimizing the errors and playing a lot better ball. We've improved by leaps and bounds."

Rabitoy's two-run home run in the fifth inning broke a 2-2 deadlock. McKenzie Cates singled ahead of Rabitoy, whose blast came with no outs.

Rabitoy added a solo shot in the Chieftains' two-run sixth.

After Cascade Christian went ahead 2-0 in the top of the third, but Rogue River tied it in the bottom, in part on a Lacey Swangle single that scored Cates. Cates had walked.

Joanne Jesse was 3-for-4 in the win.

Cates went the distance in the circle, pitching four-hitter. She struck out four and didn't walk anyone.

Rogue River is making its second straight state appearance. Last year, it was defeated in the opening round by eventual state champion Valley Catholic.

Cascade Christian got an RBI single from Brandi Johnson and an RBI double from Nikki Jones in the third.

Cascade Christian 002 000 0 — 2 4 3

Rogue River 002 022 x — 6 11 2

Gomez and Martinez; Cates and Jesse. W — Cates (13-5). L — Gomez. 2B — CC: Jones. HR — RR: Rabitoy 2.

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