Crater freshman Renee Murphy celebrates after hitting a home run during the Comets’ victory over Liberty on Tuesday at the North Medford Invitational. - Jamie Lusch

Crater bounces back after loss to South Salem

Defending Class 5A state softball champion Crater got humbled in the first of two games Tuesday in the 26th annual North Medford Invitational at U.S. Cellular Community Park.

Visiting South Salem jumped on the Comets from the start en route to a 15-1, five-inning mercy-rule victory.

Crater rebounded in a second game against Liberty of Hillsboro by posting a 7-1 win.

South Salem got to Crater starter Brittany Reeves for four runs in the opening inning. The Saxons put up six more in the second.

While South Salem collected 17 hits off Comet pitchers Reeves and freshman reliever Renee Murphy, Kelsey White limited Crater (2-2) to two hits and struck out four.

"It was a combination of not crisp pitching by us and disciplined hitting by them," said Crater coach Chris Arnold. "South Salem was really patient at the plate. They didn't chase balls outside the strike zone."

Against Liberty, leadoff hitter Dennae Grant sparked the Comets' 15-hit attack. The sophomore second baseman went 4-for-4 with two runs and two stolen bases.

"(Grant) is truly a great leadoff hitter," said Arnold. "She knows that her job is to make things happen and she did it."

Grant opened the second game with a single, moved to second on a steal and scored on a one-out single by Kayla Hopkinson. Murphy followed with a two-run homer. Reeves kept the rally going with a single and went to third on a single by Sarah Haga. Reeves scored the final run of the inning on a ground out.

"The kids responded well," said Arnold of Game 2. "Everything was more precise. We did the little things that make teams successful."

Reeves (2-1) bounced back against Liberty with a two-hitter. The senior struck out six and walked one.

"(Reeves) was on her tempo and in control," said Arnold. "She was more effective mixing speeds."

Hopkinson and Murphy each went 3-for-4 and Taylir Wallace added two hits for the Comets.

"We needed to move on from the first game," said Arnold, "but need to understand what happened and prevent it from happening again. It was a growing experience."

South Salem 463 20 — 15 17 2

Crater 000 01 — 1 2 3

White and Peterson; Reeves, Murphy (2) and Haga. W — White. L — Reeves (1-1). 2B — SS: Norris, Gardner; C: Mackey. 3B — SS: Waites.


Crater 400 101 1 — 7 15 1

Liberty 100 000 0 — 1 2 2

Reeves and Haga; Kiesal and Hall. W — Reeves (2-1). L — Kiesal. HR — C: Murphy.

NORTH TAKES TWO — North Medford needed three runs in the eighth inning to slip by Foothills of Redding, Calif., 4-2 in the North Medford Invitational, then used an eight-run surge in the first inning to upend Sprague, 12-4, in Game 2.

With the first game tied 1-1 after regulation, North Medford (4-1) struck first in the international tiebreaker system by sacrificing Amanda Wolfe to third base and then having Hannah Leming pull off a squeeze bunt for a 2-1 lead. With two outs, Brittany Griffor followed with an RBI triple and then scored on a single by Amanda Freitas, who was 3-for-3.

Against Sprague, Wolfe was 3-for-4 with three runs, while Tejay Schmidt was 3-for-4 with two runs and McKayla Brown 3-for-4 with two RBIs.

Leming also had two hits, while Taylor Schmidt, who had 11 strikeouts against Foothills, picked up her second pitching win of the day.

North Medford 001 000 03 — 4 9 1

Foothills (Calif.) 000 001 01 — 2 5 1

Ta. Schmidt and Wolfe; McCarthy and Ulmer. W — Ta. Schmidt (3-1). L — McCarthy. 2B — NM: Wolfe, F: Davis. 3B — NM: Griffor.


Sprague 012 100 0 — 4 7 2

North Medford 821 001 x — 12 15 2

Purselli, Rudisil (1) and Sorenson; Ta. Schmidt, Baldovino (3), Bartley (5) and Wolfe. W — Ta. Schmidt (4-1). L — Purselli. 2B — S: Leach; NM: Wolfe. HR — S: Harp.

GP SWEEPS — Morgan Barnes tossed a two-hitter with five strikeouts to lead Grants Pass to a 2-0 win over Century, while D Jantzer drove in two runs in the Cavers' 3-1 over Southridge in the North Medford Invitational at U.S. Cellular Community Park.

Lindy Sippola had a ground-rule double, and Shawna McFarland added a sacrifice fly for the only runs by Grants Pass (5-1) against Century ace Montana McNealy.

Tara Glover added three hits and two runs, and Sippola had two hits against Southridge.

Century 000 000 0 — 0 2 0

Grants Pass 000 200 x — 2 4 0

McNealy and Worthey; Morgan and Woolf. W — Morgan (4-1). L — McNealy. 2B — GP: Sippola.


Grants Pass 002 000 1 — 3 11 1

Southridge 001 000 0 — 1 6 0

Barnes, Jantzer (5) and Missfeldt; Gonzales, Bratty (4) and Tezader. W — Morgan (5-1). L — Gonzales. 2B — GP: Glover.

PHOENIX SPLITS — Phoenix scored 13 first-inning runs to ease past Springfield 15-2 in five innings, but the Pirates couldn't stave off Wilson in an 8-3 loss to cap the North Medford Invitational and a run of eight games in seven days.

Kirstin Stroud had three RBIs while Kourtney Scoggins and Nicole Knutson each had two hits and two RBIs for the Pirates (6-2) against Springfield. Carlee Storey added three hits and three runs scored.

Knutson, Kirstie Heath and Tessa Lockett each plated runs against Wilson.

Springfield 002 00 — 2 2 6

Phoenix (13)11 0x — 15 15 2

Stark and Dunn; Stroud, Berman (3) and Heath. W — Stroud (5-0). L — Stark. 3B — P: Scoggins.


Wilson 003 021 2 — 8 10 2

Phoenix 012 000 0 — 3 6 3

NA; Stroud and Heath, Smith (4). L — Stroud (5-1). 3B — W: Costra.

  • WEST SALEM 9, SOUTH MEDFORD 0 — In South Medford's only game of the North Medford Invitational, the Panthers were unable to deny West Salem at U.S. Cellular Community Park.
  • EAGLE POINT DROPS TWO — Eagle Point committed two costly errors in the sixth inning that led to two Cleveland runs in a 10-8 loss, and the Eagles (3-4) managed just two hits in a 7-1 loss to McNary at the North Medford Invitational.

Courtney Bowling went 2-for-4 and Tiffany Willis was 2-for-3 for Eagle Point against Cleveland.

McNary's Hannah Bouska was 3-for-5 with three doubles as McNary pounded out 13 hits in the second game.

Eagle Point 002 060 0 — 8 9 4

Cleveland 005 302 x — 10 7 0

Stephens and Dale. Butters and Leoske. W — Butters. L — Stephens (1-3). 2B — C: Leoske. 3B — EP: Paxton. HR — C: Butters.


McNary 110 001 4 — 7 13 0

Eagle Point 010 000 0 — 1 2 3

Hento and Bennett. S. Rodgers, Hanson (3) and McCready. W — Hento. L — Rodgers (0-1). 2B — C: Bouska, 3, Ross.


ASHLAND SWEEPS — At Bend, Ashland defeated Crook County 6-4 and Silverton 7-6.

Crook County 030 000 1 — 4 11 3

Ashland 202 110 x — 6 13 3

Crakes, Loveday and Walker; Pribyl and Santee. W— Pribyl. L— Crakes. 2B—CC: George, Buswell; A: Santee, Lehman, Silbowitz.

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