Postseason begins with play-in games for baseball, softball

Glencoe’s third consecutive Pacific Conference softball title earned the Crimson Tide a welcome week of respite before the start of the Class 6A state playoffs next week.

Other local teams weren’t so fortunate.

Pending the results of a mid-week tune-up game against Aloha (results were not available at press time), No. 2-ranked Glencoe will ride a 20-game winning streak into the first round of the state playoffs, where the Tide are scheduled to host South Medford on Monday.

Glencoe (23-1) hasn’t lost since dropping a 2-1 decision to No. 3-ranked South Salem at the North Medford Spring Break Invitational on March 25.

South Medford (5-22), on the other hand, won only one Southern Oregon Conference game all season, but earned a postseason berth with an 11-7 victory over McMinnville in a play-in game on Tuesday.

The Panthers caught a break to join the 32-team playoff field, but the play-in round wasn’t as kind to two local teams.

Century and Hillsboro tied for seventh place in the Pacific Conference this season, and both teams were bounced from the postseason with play-in losses.

Century (6-19) dropped a 6-2 decision on the road against Reynolds, while Hilhi (3-23), which came on strong late in the season under interim coach Stacey Hutchinson, lost 10-0 against Canby in five innings.

It was the same story on the baseball diamond, where Century and Glencoe were eliminated with play-in losses.

Century (11-16), which finished fifth in the Pacific Conference this season, earned a home game for the play-in round of the Class 6A state baseball playoffs, but the Jaguars lost 7-0 to Canby.

Glencoe (8-19) tied for seventh in the conference, and the Crimson Tide went on the road for a season-ending 5-0 loss to West Linn.

Hilhi was the only local team left standing in the 6A playoffs. The Spartans (16-10) won two games against Tigard last week — 6-2 on Tuesday and 4-1 on Wednesday — to lock up third place in the conference standings. Tigard finished fourth.

Hillsboro’s reward for its top-four finish was a bye for the play-in round, and the Spartans will travel to face Metro League runner-up Jesuit (17-8) on Monday. The winner of that game will face either Lincoln (13-13) or No. 7-ranked West Salem (18-7) in the second round.

In Class 5A, Liberty’s baseball and softball teams both nabbed fourth-place finishes in the Northwest Oregon Conference, and both were preparing for play-in games today.

The Liberty softball team went 14-11 overall and 8-6 in NWOC play to finish fourth. The Falcons are scheduled to host Silverton (15-11), the third-place finisher in the Mid-Willamette Conference, today at 5:30 p.m.

Liberty’s baseball team went 15-11 and 9-8 in NWOC play to tie Putnam for fourth place. The Falcons will travel to Springfield (12-12) today for a play-in game. The Millers finished tied for second in the Midwestern League.

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