North Medford dominating softball ranks

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.