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Rough start for Grizzlies

Ashland falls behind early in season-opening loss to North Valley
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Ashland High sophomore Emerald Hayes, gets the force at first, against North Valley High at North Mountain Park on Wednesday, March 19, 2014.
 Posted: 2:00 AM March 20, 2014

North Valley scored seven runs in the first inning en route to a 21-3 victory over Ashland on Wednesday at North Mountain Park.

Mikala Mohr went 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBIs and Kady Kantola was 3-for-4 with a double and four RBIs for the Knights (1-1), who finished the game early — after five innings — by the 10-run mercy rule.

Ashland, which was playing its season opener under first-year head coach Don Senestraro, was led by Georgia Williams and Grace Lenthe. Williams, a junior who did not play last season, was 1-for-2 with an RBI triple in the third and another RBI in the fourth. Lenthe added an RBI single in the third.

Ashland hosts South Medford on Friday.

North Valley 735 42 — 21 15 0

Ashland 002 10 — 3 5 10

E. Allen and Phillips; Lenthe, Williams (3) and Teixiera. W — E. Allen. L — Lenthe. 2B — NV: Staten, Kantola. 3B — NV: Staten; A: Williams. HR — NV: Mohr.

Girls Tennis

Ashland swept doubles play in a 7-1 season-opening win over Klamath Union on Wednesday at Hunter Park.

In the closest match of the day at No. 1 singles, Ashland's Ashley Knecht overcame a second-set letdown to defeat Marisa Doveri, 6-0, 2-6, 6-0.

Ashland's two-time defending Class 5A doubles champion tandem of Hanna Greenberg and Vika O'Brien trounced Cat Keeney and Kim Velasquez, 6-0, 6-0.

SINGLES — Ashley Knecht, A, d. Marisa Doveri, 6-0, 2-6, 6-0; River Davis, A, d. Mady Mirande, 6-1, 6-1; Anne Kim, A, d. Adrianna Lincoln, 6-0, 6-0; Lily Inthison, K, d. Emily Haptonstall, 6-1, 6-0.

DOUBLES — Hanna Greenberg-Vika O'Brien, A, d. Cat Keeney-Kim Velasquez, 6-0, 6-0; Katy Barnard-Cass Christopher, A, d. Tisha Bray-Gracie Morgan, 6-0, 6-0; Hanna Barchet-Lilli Patton, A, d. Sarah Zacharias-Emily Pardon, 6-0, 6-2; Soleil Heller-Sarah Kaufman, A, beat Bettany VanMeter-Rianna Delgado, 6-3, 6-3.

Women's Softball

The Southern Oregon University softball team's 12-game homestand is scheduled to resume with Cascade Conference doubleheaders Friday against Eastern Oregon (2 p.m., 4 p.m.) and Saturday against 15th-ranked College of Idaho (11 a.m., 1 p.m.).

Live stats will be available for all games at the SOU Athletics Portal.

At this time a week ago, the Raiders (4-8 overall, 3-1 CCC) were trying to remember what it looked like to push runners across the plate. They scored 11 times in their first eight games.

Four games, 24 runs and three wins later, another big weekend against the Mountaineers (4-4, 1-3) and Coyotes (12-4, 4-0) would make the Raiders instant contenders for a conference title.

C of I and Oregon Tech were the only teams without a loss in the opening weekend of the 28-game CCC slate.

The Raiders' split with Northwest Christian and sweep of Corban was made possible by several encouraging developments — the foremost being SOU's team batting average, which spiked 34 points to .240, and walk total, which doubled to 22. Senior catcher Julia Willison (Reno, Nevada/McQueen) went 7-for-11, reached base in 10 of 14 plate appearances, and now leads the team in average (.467) and on-base percentage (.590). Ashley Lowe (Sacramento, Calif./Ck. McClatchy) raised her average (.324) almost 100 points by going 7-for-15, and Kassie Smith (Fontana, Calif./Summit) stabilized the bottom half of the order by going 4-for-9 with two doubles.

The pitching staff also showed major signs of getting on track. Brianne Craig (Rialto, Calif./Etiwanda H.S.) earned two wins, allowing four earned runs in 11 1/3 innings. Her last two starts have resulted in complete games. Sydney White (Clovis, Calif./Clovis West) followed up a few shaky outings with one of the most dominant starts in SOU history against Corban on Saturday, when she set the school record with 14 strikeouts while throwing seven innings of two-run ball.

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