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The beat goes on for error-prone Lancers.

Byline: Paula Lincoln The Register-Guard

The league titles just keep coming for the Churchill softball team.

The Lancers assured themselves of at least a share of the 18th Midwestern League title in school history by beating North Eugene 4-2 Monday night at Churchill, though the victory was hardly the springboard to the state playoffs the Lancers were looking for.

"We told the kids afterwards we're not playing our best ball right now," said Churchill coach Eric Leyba, whose team will open the state playoffs with a home game May 22.

The Lancers, who improved to 12-1 in league and 16-5 overall, finish the regular season with road games against Thurston today and Willamette on Wednesday.

North Eugene (9-3), which has clinched a playoff berth, leads third-place Thurston by a game.

"It was definitely not a well-played game on both parts," said Leyba, of Monday's combined eight errors and six hits.

"But I think we did a better job adjusting to (North pitcher Carly Larson). The last time we played them, she had quite a few, seven or eight, strikeouts."

Larson limited the Lancers to four hits - including two by Jordan Goschie, who drove in a pair of runs.

"I just think we had a lot more intensity and just really wanted to beat them. We had a couple of errors but we made up for it by hitting the ball," said Goschie, who hit a chopper to second base to drive in Sierra Lessel with the tying run in the bottom of the first inning for the Lancers.

Goschie scored on a sacrifice fly by senior catcher Carie Boothe to give the Lancers a 2-1 lead, but North tied the score again in the second inning when Nicole Long scored on a close play at the plate after a long fly ball by MaKenzie Ficek popped out of the glove of Churchill outfielder Amy Stanton.

Stanton redeemed herself by scoring the go-ahead run in the bottom of the second inning, scoring from third base when a throw home from second base on a grounder by Nicole Halverson dropped out of North Eugene catcher Megan Harvey's mitt, giving Churchill at 3-2 lead.

The Lancers added a run in the bottom of the fifth inning when Lessel scored on an RBI single by Goschie.

Churchill pitcher Megan Peterson, who gave up singles to Ficek and Kristen DeHaven, struck out 10 and walked three.

North's Larson didn't strike out or walk any of the 24 batters she faced.

Springfield 14, Willamette 4: Grace Brown, Alicia Meza and Sabra Lindahl had two singles and two RBIs apiece and Ashley Lohner also had two RBIs to lead the host Millers past the Wolverines. Sarah Leonard had a triple and two RBIs for Willamette.

Thurston 12, Marshfield 1: Amanda Miller threw a one-hitter with nine strikeouts and Kelsey Rogers was 3-for-4 with two doubles to lead the visiting Colts to the victory over the Pirates.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:May 8, 2007
Words:489
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