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Prep Softball: Becker, North Medford thump Roseburg

Maryssa Becker is more than just a pitcher.

The 6-foot North Medford senior can also swing the bat with authority, with Monday’s performance against Roseburg as proof.

Becker pitched a one-hitter with 17 strikeouts and stroked three hits, including a two-run homer, to propel the Black Tornado to a 6-1 win in a Southern Oregon Hybrid game at Stewart Park.

Becker knocked in four runs as North — the defending Class 6A state champion — won its seventh straight contest to improve to 13-1 overall and 5-0 in conference. The Indians dropped to 5-3 and 1-1.

“We’ve been working really hard as a team to get everything done, and were prepared for this game,” said Becker, a right-hander who received 6A Pitcher of the Year honors as a junior and will play collegiately at the University of Louisville. “We know Roseburg is a tough team to beat every time. We came up here to compete today and got the job done.”

Becker walked none and hit one batter in her dominating effort. She hurled no-hit ball for 5 1/3 innings before Makinna Akers got Roseburg on the scoreboard with a solo home run to right field.

Becker ended her day by striking out the Indians in order in the bottom of the seventh.

“My team needs me the most in the circle,” she said. “That’s where I spend a lot of my time focusing. We work extremely hard to hit one through nine (in the batting order) and have everybody be an impact player.”

Becker brought home the first run of the game in the top of the first by singling in Jocilyn Ellis, who had beat out an infield chopper for a hit and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Maddie Gates.

Becker added an RBI single in the fourth to give the Tornado a 3-0 advantage, then ripped her two-run blast over the left field fence in the sixth. Alexis Barkwell also went deep for the Tornado with a solo shot to right in the fifth.

“My goal was to just get the ball in play,” Becker said. “I didn’t want to overswing too much. (On the home run) I went up looking for a pitch I could drive hard and just got my hands out there. She (Akers) is an awesome pitcher and got me out on the same pitch in my previous at-bat.”

Becker’s round-tripper was her seventh of the season.

“Maryssa swings the bat really well,” said North Medford coach Mike Mayben. “When she’s disciplined, she’s going to find the center of the ball and drive it hard. She’s an impressive hitter.

“She had good control (in the circle), especially with the conditions early on. We got some rain right before the game and it’s always tough for pitchers with their plant leg, but Maryssa was able to stay around the zone and not throw too many balls.”

The Indians, playing for the first time in nearly two weeks, weren’t on their game. They only hit one ball out of the infield (Akers’ homer) and committed three errors on defense.

Akers, the senior right-hander, allowed eight hits and six earned runs. She fanned 12, issued one walk and hit one batter.

“I think we were a little bit rusty (having not played since March 26),” Akers said. “I feel we can definitely compete with North Medford … I’m disappointed with the score and feel we should’ve kept it closer. I wasn’t very happy with myself in the circle. I need to work on speed and more location.”

“We had a couple of little things that gave them a couple of extra bases,” said Roseburg coach Tony Campos. “I actually thought Makinna threw pretty well. We didn’t play very well on defense, and I just think we have to get better in not giving up extra outs.

“(Offensively) we’ve got to make adjustments. We understand and know (Becker) is a good pitcher, we’ve faced her before. We need to learn to shorten up and make adjustments in later parts of the game and put some pressure on their defense.”

The Indians traveled to Grants Pass (4-8, 2-2) today for a conference game.

N. Medford 100 212 0 — 6 8 1

Roseburg 000 001 0 — 1 1 3

Becker and Williamson; Akers and Conklin. WP — Becker (7-1). LP — Akers (5-3). HR — Becker (NM), Barkwell (NM), Akers (R).

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The News-Review Updated Apr 10, 2013 11:06AM Published Apr 9, 2013 12:40PM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.