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Falcons crest 3A summit.

Byline: Steve Mims The Register-Guard

CLASS 3A SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP

CORVALLIS - Elmira regained its spot at the top of Class 3A softball.

For Michelle Sconce, that is simply following family tradition.

"It's amazing because I had two sisters who won the championship and so to finally get my turn, I am so happy," Sconce said.

The unranked Falcons capped a wild ride through the postseason with an 8-2 win over No. 6 Mazama in the OSAA Class 3A championship softball game at Oregon State on Saturday evening.

Elmira's offensive output equaled the record for most runs in a 3A championship game.

"Their pitcher was good, and we went out there and crushed the ball," Elmira coach Sarah Schilling said. "It was awesome."

Elmira has won five state titles since 1992 and three in the last four years. Sconce's two sisters - Kasey and Andrea - played on the title team in 2003, and Andrea was also on the 2004 championship team.

Elmira totaled three runs during the back-to-back championship victories in 2003-04 but exceeded that total in the third inning alone against Mazama. The Falcons added four more in the sixth to match the record of eight runs set by three other 3A teams.

"We jumped on it," senior Heather Cordell said. "We hit in the cage all the time and we knew what we wanted to do, and we know hitting is the biggest part of the game. We did what we wanted to do."

Elmira broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the third as it batted through the order to score four runs after four consecutive singles.

Lori Baker started a one-out rally with a single and then Nicole Shaw added another single. Cordell ripped a single to right field and Baker slid in ahead of the tag at home for the first run.

Sconce followed with a single up the middle that scored two runs. Keili Perritt hit a two-out single that scored Sconce to put the Falcons ahead 4-0.

Mazama looked to rally in the top of the fourth when Ashlie McDaniel singled and Danielle Stratton walked with no outs.

Cordell struck out the next two batters looking before Ann Bocchi popped out to end the inning.

Elmira added four more runs in the bottom of the sixth after Ashley Lokey led off with a single and stole second base. Lokey advanced to third on a ground out and then Cordell walked with two outs.

The Falcons pulled off a double steal as Cordell went to second and Lokey stole home. Cordell went to third on the play and later scored on a single by Sconce.

Kayleen Upton reached base on an error before Perritt capped the inning with a two-run double.

Mazama scored twice in the top of the seventh before Cordell got Chelsie McDaniel to foul out to end the game.

"This is so hard to believe," said Cordell, who played on the 2004 title team. "It just doesn't hit you. We're so happy and I'm so proud of all the girls. We came so far and worked so hard, and I'm so glad we're here."

Cordell pitched a complete game and allowed four hits and two runs while striking out eight.

"Pitching was a little rough today," Cordell said. "It was not my best game, but that's OK because I had my team behind me to support me the whole way."

Mazama did not get a runner past second base during the first six innings.

"Heather is pretty modest; today she did her best," Schilling said. "She kept the ball down and they had no huge hits. She did her job as a pitcher. Offensively, she went out there and did everything she could."

Sconce was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBIs while Perritt was 3-for-4 with two RBIs. Cordell and Shaw each had two hits as Elmira totaled 12 hits.

"No one swings for the fence; they all swing for a base hit," Schilling said. "It is a team effort. Those girls on the bases have to be ready to be running and people at the plate have to be willing to be smart hitters, and that is what we've done."

Elmira (24-7) finished second in the Sky-Em League and did not receive a vote in the final coaches poll. However, the Falcons defeated four ranked teams in the playoffs and averaged seven runs per game in the postseason while committing just one error.

Class 2A/1A

Waldport 3, Kennedy 2: The Trico League champions scored the winning run on a walk in the bottom of the seventh inning to earn the first state softball title in school history.

The game was tied 2-2 entering the bottom of the seventh when Kayla Clawson singled to open the inning.

Kendal Clawson added a single and then Cassie Martin bunted for a single that loaded the bases with no outs. Jayleen Morris popped out before Traci Smith walked to bring in the winning run.

Smith and Kendal Clawson were both 2-for-3 with an RBI.

Laura Quirion earned the victory by allowing seven hits and two runs in a complete game. She was also 3-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored for the Irish.

Waldport scored first when Kendal Clawson singled home Quirion in the bottom of the third inning.

Kennedy took a 2-1 lead with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth before Waldport tied the game with a run in the bottom of the sixth.

Quirion singled home Erica Atkinson to tie the game 2-2.

CAPTION(S):

Elmira's Lori Baker slides in safely as Mazama catcher Chelsea Whiteley retrieves the ball in Saturday's OSAA Class 3A state title game.
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Title Annotation:Sports; Unranked Elmira claims its third Class 3A softball title in the last four years with an 8-2 win over Mazama
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Jun 4, 2006
Words:951
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