TRI CITY — The fourth-seeded South Umpqua softball team used its home field advantage to hold off the No. 13 Nyssa Bulldogs, 4-2, on Wednesday in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs.
Shalyn Gray hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the third inning to put the Lancers (21-5) ahead for good after Nyssa scored two unearned runs in the top half.
Both of Nyssa’s runs came on the Lancers’ lone error. The Bulldogs had the bases loaded with one out and hit a grounder to pitcher Tayah Kelley. S.U. got the out at home, but threw the ball away attempting an inning-ending doubleplay and two runners scored.
Gray, a junior, scored Hannah Lowell and Kalie Mann with her blast. The Lancers added a final run in the bottom of the second when Amelia Ferguson brought Gray home with a double.
Gray was 2-for-3 in the contest. Lowell was 3-for-4, while Mann and Ferguson each had a pair of hits.
“Shay is always very consistent and gets us out of pressure situations and always pulls through for us and I’m really proud of her,” South Umpqua coach Joelle McGrorty said of Gray.
Kelley pitched a complete-game three-hitter for South Umpqua. The senior right-hander struck out 12 and walked five.
McGrorty said the team was happy with the win, but hungry for more.
“We accomplished our goal. We know that come Friday we need to get in there and do what we have to do in order to get a win and keep playing,” the coach said.
Nicole Lambie took the loss for the Bulldogs (13-11), allowing three earned runs and 11 hits. Leadoff hitter Syriah Trujillo was 2-for-3.
The Lancers will host No. 5 Rainier (16-8) on Friday in the quarterfinals. Rainier shut out No. 12 Santiam Christian, 6-0, on Wednesday.
Nyssa 002 00 0 — 2 3 3
S. Umpqua 003 001 x — 4 11 1
Lambie and Trujillo; Kelley and Rudy. WP — Kelley. LP — Lambie. 2B — Ferguson (SU), Gray (SU), Trujillo (N). HR — Gray (SU).