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Friday, June 21, 2024

Cascade Christian puts end to Taft High’s softball title hopes

The Taft Tigers prepare to take the field Friday for State quarterfinal play.

Cascade Christian dashed Taft High’s hopes of making a deeper run in the Class 3A OSAA State Softball Championships than a season ago, advancing Friday to the 16-team tournament semifinals with an 8-3 home win in Medford.

“It’s tough to lose and have the season end, but this young group learned so much this season and surpassed a lot of expectations,” Taft coach Sandy Stuart said. “We matured and will be able to come back stronger next year.”

The third-seeded Challengers improved to 22-7 (10-2 Far West) with the five-run victory over the sixth-seeded Tigers (18-10, 7-5 Special District 1) and starting junior pitcher Emma Coulter at US Cellular Community Park Field.

Mia Mayben had three hits in four trips with two RBIs and scored a run for Cascade Christian.

Coulter had two singles to lead the Tigers, who scored in the top half of the first, but gave up two runs in the bottom half of the inning as the Challengers led the rest of the way, also scoring twice in the third, fourth and fifth innings.

Junior Hailee Danneker and freshmen Addie Gates and Olivia Coulter scored for Taft, while sophomores Kayla Lininger and Kyla Knott drove home runs. Sophomore Claira Tolan had the Tigers’ only extra-base hit, a double.

“Today, the biggest issue was their balls fell into gaps and holes, and ours went right at defenders and were caught,” Stuart said. “Sometimes that’s how games go.”

Taft, which defeated Cascade Christian 12-11 on the same field during a spring break tournament in late May, downed Vale 11-1 in five innings in opening-round play Wednesday to reach the quarterfinals. Cascade Christian beat Blanchet Catholic 6-4 to advance.

Taft was a quarterfinalist last season before being eliminated 4-2 by eventual State champion Dayton.

“The coaching staff is incredibly proud of their efforts this year,” Stuart said. “The only thing that makes us sad is that we have to wait so long for next season.”

The Challengers will play at No. 2 Dayton (18-5, 7-1 PacWest) Tuesday in one semifinal matchup. The Pirates defeated 10th-seeded Yamhill-Carlton (14-16, 5-3 PacWest) 10-1 Friday to advance.

Fourth-seeded South Umpqua (23-5, 11-1 Far West) defeated No. 5 Rainier (16-10, 8-4 SD1) 3-0 Friday and will meet top-seeded Clatskanie (25-0, 12-0 SD1), which downed ninth-seeded Scio (13-7, 3-5 PacWest) 12-2 in five innings in Friday’s other quarterfinal.

The State champion will be determined Friday, May 31, at the University of Oregon’s Jane Sanders Stadium.


Cascade Christian 8, Taft 3

Hailee Danneker  4  1  1  0  Audrey Quast        2  1  0  0  
Addie Gates      3  1  0  0  Mia Mayben          4  1  3  2  
Emma Coulter     3  0  2  0  Katelyn Willard     4  1  2  1  
Kayla Lininger   2  0  0  1  Mallory Meilicke    3  2  1  0  
Olivia Coulter   3  1  0  0  Kara Palmer         4  1  0  0  
Claira Tolan     3  0  1  0  Rebecca Clark       2  1  1  1  
Kyla Knott       3  0  1  1  Emily Knight        2  0  1  1  
Corey VanDamme   2  0  1  0  Ali Modrell         2  0  0  0  
Chloe Peterson   2  0  0  0  Neha Joseph         3  1  1  1  
Lily Hatton      1  0  0  0                                    
TOTALS          26  3  6  2  TOTALS             26  8  9  6

TAFT                          100 110 0 -- 3  
CASCADE CHRISTIAN             202 220 x -- 8  

Peterson, Corey VanDamme, Mallory Meilicke, Kara Palmer.
2B--Claira Tolan, Mallory Meilicke, Katelyn Willard (2).
SACF--Kayla Lininger, Rebecca Clark. SACB--Ali Modrell,
Emily Knight. SB--Addie Gates, Audrey Quast.

 TAFT                   IP    H    R   ER   BB   SO   HR
Emma Coulter          6.00    9    8    5    3    5    0
Katelyn Willard       7.00    6    3    2    2    7    0

PB--Ali Modrell. SO--Kyla Knott, Addie Gates (2), Lily
Hatton, Hailee Danneker, Chloe Petersob (2), Rebecca Clark,
Ali Modrell (2), Emily Knight, Kara Palmer. BB--Addie Gates,
Corey VanDamme, Audrey Quast (2), Mallory Meilicke.
Jim Fossum
Jim Fossumhttp://SilverandBlackToday.com
Homepage Executive Editor and former longtime Sports Editor of the near-200,000 circulation Las Vegas Review-Journal, Fossum brings 40 years of award-winning experience covering virtually every facet of print and digital journalism to Lincoln City Homepage. The former longtime reporter for the Newport News-Times and Lincoln City News Guard is also Editor-in-Chief and Senior Columnist for SilverandBlackToday.com, which covers the NFL's Oakland (Las Vegas) Raiders.


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