The Black Tornado have allowed only a handful of runs
April 30, 2012
Having allowed only 11 runs all season, North Medford is ranked No. 1 in Class 6A softball with two weeks left brefore the playoffs begin.
After a humbling loss in the quarterfinals last season when they were also ranked No. 1, the Black Tornado have dominated their opposition, losing just once in 19 games - to No. 3 Southridge in March.
Redmond is ranked second and is the state's other team with just one loss, but the Panthers have had a series of rainouts and are primed to play eight games in six days beginning Wednesday.
At Class 5A, Pendleton and West Albany, who met in the state final last season, are ranked first and second, respectively, in what appears to be a wide open level of play. Only one team in Class 5A has as few as three losses and the top six teams have four or more losses. West Albany won the state title last year, 7-6, over Pendleton.
At Class 4A, Henley, Central and Cascade, all of whom were in the semifinals last season, are ranked 1-2-3, with defending champion Cascade No. 3. Henley, 14-3, has a nine-game win streak in which it's given up just 10 runs. Central and Cascade, who play in the Oregon West Conference, meet again Monday having split their first two games.
At Class 3A, Rainier is ranked No. 1, while PacWest Conference rivals Santiam Christian and Blanchet Catholic are second and third.
In Class 2A, Heppner/Ione has the top spot with Echo/Stanfield ranked No. 2 and Weston-McEwen/Griswold ranked third. All of the teams play in District 5.
The complex at Oregon State University plays host to the five classifications with finals, June 1 and 2.
Softball is one of two sports that finish their seasons at Oregon State, with the other being Class Class 4A basketball at Gill Coliseum.
Teams will likely be playing to become a third seed in a playoff bracket this spring. Last year, a third seed was involved in four of the five championship games, with two of the teams winning: Century at Class 6A and West Albany at 5A.
Cascade, Glide and Regis won the Class 3A, 2A and 1A titles respectively with Glide and Regis as the only top seeds to win a title.
The world of youth softball celebrated another year of championship play at Alpenrose Dairy Wednesday.
Ten teams, including one from Beaverton and four from international locales, showed off their tournament uniforms during the opening ceremony of the Little League Softball World Series. The tournament begins Thursday with pool play, and concludes Aug. 17. The semifinals and final will be televised live on ESPN2.
Midway of Waco, Texas, returned after a two-year absence and will attempt to win its 12th Series title against a field of almost complete newcomers. Of the six U.S. teams, only Sterling, Illinois, the Central champions, have been to the tournament.
Wilkes County is the first team from North Carolina to appear in the Series.
Willow Creek, from the host District 4, is making its first appearance as well.
Warner Robins, Ga., the defending champion, lost in its state tournament.
CORVALLIS – Century got four RBIs from first baseman Chantel Hoag and scored its first state title, 7-3, over South Salem in the OSAA/U.S. Bank/Les Schwab final in Class 6A at the OSU Softball Complex.
Hoag hit a three-run double in the first and had an RBI single in the seventh to power the Jaguars, who gave up just three runs in the playoffs and finished 25-3 on the season.
West Albany also claimed its first title, surviving runners at second and third with two out for a 7-6 win over Pendleton in the Class 5A final.
In the other three finals, Cascade, Glide and Regis all reclaimed titles. Glide won its second straight Class 3A final.
All five winners were credited as the visiting team.
Warner Robbins, Ga., and Tigard among nine finalists
By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com
The 37th annual Little League Softball World Series kicked off with the Opening Ceremonies Wednesday at Alpenrose Dairy, highlighted by an inspirational speech from one of the most honored coaches in the sport, UCLA great Sue Enquist.
Nine teams from across the world gathered on the Alpenrose main field on a sun-filled day to hear their names during their team introductions and national anthems.