By News-Register staff • 

Tornado rally ousts Grizzlies in playoffs

MEDFORD – Why not a come-from-behind victory?
McMinnville softball had won two different ways in the OSAA Class 6A softball state playoffs, grinding out a win against No. 6-seeded Tualatin and blowing out No. 11 Tigard. The Grizzlies, seeded No. 27 found themselves down 3-0 to No. 3 North Medford entering the top of the fifth inning, their improbable postseason run – McMinnville had not made the 6A state quarterfinals since 2009 and was the lowest-seeded quarterfinalist since No. 30 South Medford in 2014 – appeared to be down to nine outs.
Then the Grizzlies rallied.
Ashley Rhoads hit an RBI triple and scored on a Black Tornado error in the top of the fifth inning, and Sydnee Reeser’s two-run home run gave McMinnville a 4-3 lead. Seeding, once again, appeared to have no bearing on game play.
Unlike Tualatin and Tigard, North Medford absorbed the Grizzlies’ shot and kept competing.
The Black Tornado chased McMinnville starting pitcher Payton Hudson out of the circle in the sixth inning, scoring five runs in an eventual 8-4 victory. Hudson ended the game having allowed six earned runs on seven hits and three walks, striking out one batter; Anika Heidt recorded the final two outs of the sixth inning for the Grizzlies.
Hudson doubled at the plate as one of six Grizzlies to record a base hit Friday. Heidt, Bayleigh Snaric and Hanna Young singled for Mac.
McMinnville (17-13) committed three errors against North Medford (27-2) after a pair of error-free games against Tigard and Tualatin, the strongest defensive outings for a Grizzlies team that finished third in the Class 6A Greater Valley Conference in 2016.
“Their success and ability to knock off two of the top teams in the state, and compete with the #3 team in the state, is 100% due to their effort, hard work, determination, and scrappiness,” McMinnville head coach Courtney Seifert wrote in an email to the News-Register.
“The best way I can sum up their demeanor this last week has been a team of girls on a mission. Nothing was going to stop them. I’m incredibly proud of everything they accomplished this year and feel very fortunate to be their coach.”
In other action:

May 27
Rainier 10
Amity 0 (5)
RAINIER – Patty O’Leary had the lone hit for the No. 6-seeded Warriors in their Class 3A state quarterfinal loss to the No. 3 Columbians, marking an end to Amity’s best postseason performance since 2004.
Amity concludes its season with a 17-7 overall record.

May 27
Santiam Christian 5
Dayton 2
ADAIR VILLAGE – The No. 1 Eagles scored five runs in the first inning and did not relent in eliminating the No. 9 Pirates from the 2016 OSAA Class 3A state playoffs.
Dayton concludes its season with a 13-10 overall record.