Senior Kirsten Emigh tossed a perfect game with 18 strikeouts Tuesday in a second-round playoff game against Marshall. - Photo by Jerry Clarkson

Pitcher Perfect

The timing was perfect for Kirsten Emigh to be just that.

The senior pitching ace re-introduced Eagle Point softball to the postseason with a perfect game Tuesday against Marshall in the second round of the Class 5A state playoffs.

Eagle Point, in its first state playoff appearance since 1997, won the game, 2-0, and advanced to today's quarterfinal matchup with Sherwood. Game time is 4:30 p.m. in Sherwood.

In other softball playoff games involving area teams, Southern Sky Conference champion Crater travels to Eugene to play Churchill at 3:30 p.m.; top-ranked Roseburg is at Central Catholic in the 6A ranks; and Skyline Conference champion Henley hosts Tillamook in a 4A game.

Crater, which defeated Hillsboro 6-3 on Tuesday, takes a 24-3 record into its showdown with Midwestern League champion Churchill and Midwestern player of the year Megan Peterson.

Peterson, a junior pitcher, will square off against Comets ace Ashleigh Cuddie.

It was Emigh who stole the show Tuesday by shining the brightest on the big stage.

"She definitely brought it," said Eagle Point coach Keith Williams, whose team is the SSC's No. 2 seed. "I've been involved in softball for a long time and I can't remember somebody having a game like that."

Emigh's dominance over Marshall, the second seed from the Portland Interscholastic League, was jaw-dropping.

The right-hander struck out 18 of the 21 batters she faced and fanned eight of the first nine batters to step into the batter's box. She capped the remarkable performance by striking out the side in the seventh inning.

"It was really exciting," said Emigh, who improved to 15-4 on the season. "I didn't think about it much until the game was over, but I was definitely feeling confident with what I was doing."

Marshall made contact just once over the first two innings — a foul ball — and failed to get the ball out of the infield, with two outs going to the third-base side and the other to first base.

"The first couple months Kirsten was really tough," said Williams, "then she lost a little bit of her velocity for some reason. Her velocity was definitely back (Tuesday)."

"It's a win-or-go-home situation and she's such a competitor," added the coach. "You know she's going to bring it."

Emigh's teammates also knew what was at stake but couldn't revel too much in her perfection until the final out. The game was scoreless until the sixth inning when Emigh and Terrah Whipple each scored a run.

"There were a couple of people talking about it," said Emigh of her performance. "But I was trying to focus on one pitch at a time.

"And we didn't hit the ball like I wish we would have."

Emigh credited the playoff atmosphere for providing a little extra juice to her fastball. She also gave a nod to her battery mate, senior Brooke Griggs.

"(Griggs) said that she could feel I was throwing harder," said Emigh. "I think it was a combination of it being the playoffs and my confidence in my catcher. I felt confident with anything she was calling because she's been calling pitches for me for a long time."

Eagle Point (19-8) will have to bring the same level of play — and probably a few more clutch hits — to today's contest.

Sherwood, the No. 4 team from the Northwest Oregon Conference, will send junior first-team all-league pitcher Brooke Davis against Emigh.

"I know she's pretty good," said Williams of Davis. "She throws a lot of riseballs at you. And their team can hit 1 through 9."

"We know what we have to do," added Emigh. "If we just play our game and have fun we'll do fine."

Reach reporter Kevin Goff at 776-4483, or e-mail

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