The Glads boot away their postseason

GLADSTONE - It was a rough ending to an up-and-down season for Gladstone High School's softball team on May 19, as the Gladiators kicked the ball around in a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Yamhill-Carlton in a play-in game of the Class 4A playoffs.

The win advanced the Tigers (15-11, 10-5) to a first-round state playoff game with Skyline Conference champion Mazama (21-4, 11-1), while the loss ended the season for Gladstone (16-8, 11-4), the No. 2 team from the Tri-Valley Conference.

'It's tough, because we play in a tough league and we've got three teams from our league still playing,' said Gladstone coach Bruce Mortier. 'Just like in all eight of our losses this season - except perhaps the losses to Madras, errors cost us the game.'

Both of Yamhill-Carlton's runs were unearned in last week's game at Gladstone.

The two runs were scored with two down in the second, when Kylie Dumpelly followed up two Gladstone errors with a two-run double to left-center.

'We had a dropped fly ball in center, and we threw the ball to right field on a sacrifice bunt,' said Mortier.

Gladstone scored its only run in the bottom of the second. Following a base hit by Ashlee Muller, a sacrifice bunt, and a Tiger error, freshman Nina Dudley singled in the run. The next three Gladiators went down in order, leaving two baserunners stranded.

Elise Breshears (2-for-4) nearly scored a second run in the third inning. She led off the inning with a base hit; advanced on a sacrifice and stolen base. But Breshears was out at the plate on an attempt to score on a passed ball.

The Gladiators threatened again in the fourth, but left the bases loaded.

Dudley pitched for Gladstone, striking out eight, walking two and allowing just two hits in a complete game.

Y-C pitcher Molly Smith (12 strikeouts, 2 walks) made things tough on Gladstone hitters, scattering five hits.

'She had a pretty good rise ball and we couldn't lay off it,' said Mortier.

With the loss of only two seniors - third baseman Breshears and DP/pitcher Jessica Jarrett - to graduation, Mortier expects the Gladiators to be competitive again next season.

'Our pitching and hitting were pretty good,' said Mortier. 'Hopefully we'll get decent weather so that we can work hard on improving our defense.'

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