10A THE DAILY ASTORIAN • WEDNESDAY, MARCH 29, 2017 CONTACT US FOLLOW US facebook.com/ DailyAstorianSports Gary Henley | Sports Reporter email@example.com Warriors cruise to fifth straight win Warrenton could challenge Rainier for a league title By GARY HENLEY The Daily Astorian SEASIDE — Two teams on a roll met on the field late Tuesday night to finish up the Seaside Spring Break Softball Tournament. When it was over, the Warrenton Warriors were still on a roll. The Warriors — who could be challenging Rainier for a league championship a month from now — continued their hot streak by cruis- ing past Astoria 11-0 on a cold, rainy night at Broadway Field. Warrenton pitcher Niqui Blodgett allowed just three hits with eight strikeouts and four walks, and her defense backed her up for the War- riors’ fifth straight victory, with no losses. “I am very pleased with our pre- season performance,” said Warren- ton coach Staci Miethe, off to one of her best starts ever. “At this time we have five players hitting over .500. That’s pretty impressive, but what’s more impressive is that three of them are freshmen. If we can continue to put the ball in play and make the easy plays we will be competitive.” Meanwhile, the Fishermen trailed just 3-0 through five innings, but some late-game defensive miscues allowed the Warriors to pull away for the win. Astoria finished with five costly errors, and a few more men- tal mistakes in the sixth and seventh innings. Blodgett worked her way out of the few jams that she was in, as the Fishermen stranded six baserunners. Offensively, it was “Ground Rule Double Night” for the Warriors. Back-to-back ground rule dou- bles in the top of the second inning led to three runs. Freshman Melia Kapua reached on an error to lead off and scored on another throwing error moments later. Freshman Natalie Duncan had the first of her two ground rule doubles, and scored on a ground rule double by Claire Bussert, whose hit to the outfield bounced over the fence (not hard to do, since the fence was laying flat on the ground). Bussert later scored on an error. That was more than enough for Blodgett, the junior who was mow- ing down the Fishermen all night. “Niqui hasn’t pitched a game when it wasn’t wet yet, and she is still solid,” Miethe said. “We haven’t been able to use all her arsenal yet, so I — like everyone else in the state — can’t wait to play in normal soft- ball weather. “We’ve played games in con- ditions this year we wouldn’t nor- mally play in because we need to get games in,” she said. “It’s tough on the girls but at least we are getting on the field. I keep telling them that this is the toughest conditions, so the fair weather games should be easy.” Blodgett struck out two in the fourth inning, giving up a single to Astoria’s Lexi Lyngstad in between. The Warriors had another poten- tial rally squashed in the fifth, when Landree Miethe led off with a single, but was caught stealing by Astoria all-league catcher Caitlyn Hougham. Warrenton returned the favor in the bottom of the fifth, when Rylee DeMander had a leadoff walk, but was thrown out at second by Miethe on a steal attempt. Freshman Kenz Ramsey had a two-run single for the Warriors to highlight a five-run sixth inning, while Bussert and Ramsey had back- to-back run-scoring singles in the seventh to cap Warrenton’s night. Earlier in the day, Astoria defeated Cottage Grove 20-1, drop- ping the winless Lions to 0-7. Warrenton (5-0) is scheduled to host a doubleheader with Willamina (0-1) Saturday at noon. Astoria rallies for win over Madison The Daily Astorian Astoria overcame a 2-1 defi- cit through five innings with three runs in the sixth on its way to a 4-2 win over Madison in a nonleague baseball game Tuesday at CMH Field. Astoria’s three-day tournament concludes today at CMH, with the Fishermen (4-1 overall) taking on Yamhill-Carlton (1-0) at 1 p.m. Class 6A Madison falls to 0-5. Kyle Strange and Jasyn Gohl had back-to-back singles in Asto- ria’s sixth inning rally, with Strange scoring on a bases-loaded walk to tie the game. Samboy Tuimato was hit by a pitch to force in the go-ahead run, and Gohl scored on a sacrifice fly by Zach Patterson for the final run. Astoria starter Olaf Englund pitched four-and-a-third innings, allowing four hits with four strike- outs, three walks and four hit batters. Englund gave way to Trey Hageman and eventually Fridtjof Fremstad, with Hageman picking up the win and Fremstad earning the save. Madison stranded 10 baserun- ners in the loss. Damian Mulinix/For The Daily Astorian Ilwaco, Wash., junior Makenzie Kaech was named first team all-state Monday. Loggers drop two on eastern road swing Kaech named first team all-state The Daily Astorian The Daily Astorian ILWACO, Wash. — Ilwaco basketball player Makenzie Kaech was selected first team Class 2B all-state by the Associ- ated Press. Kaech is one of two juniors on the first team, with all five spots going to players from South- west Washington District 4. The all-state team was voted on by sportswriters and editors from around Washington state. The Class 2B state Player of the Year was senior Peyton Souvenir of Wahkiakum, while the state co-Players of the Year (for all classes) were seniors Jadyn Bush of Bishop Blan- chet and Anna Luce of Mercer Island. In addition to Kaech and Souvenir, the first team included seniors Parker Esary and Kaelyn Shipley of Kalama, and junior Mollie Olson of Napavine. Danny Miller/The Daily Astorian Seaside’s GeriAnn Klaffke attempts to tag out a runner at third base. Lady Gulls fall short against Valley Catholic despite rally By GARY HENLEY The Daily Astorian Seaside had the winning runs on second and third Tuesday, when Valley Catholic recorded the final out for an 11-10 win over the Gulls on Day 2 of Sea- side’s Spring Break Tournament. The Valiants jumped out to a 7-0 lead after a half-inning, before the Gulls rallied and eventually took the lead. Seaside’s Jetta Ideue came on in relief in the second inning pitched a great game, finishing with seven strikeouts. The Gulls scored one run in their first at-bat, fol- lowed by two runs in the second, one in the third and two in the fourth to take the lead. Valley Catholic retook the lead in the top of the fifth, and the Gulls answered with four in the bot- tom of the fifth, with their rally falling one run short. Seaside opened the day against Jefferson, which posted a 16-7 win over the Gulls. Ideue started and struck out eight, while Emma Meyer entered in the fourth inning and finished with two strikeouts. SCOREBOARD PREP SCHEDULE TODAY Baseball — Yamhill-Carlton at Astoria, 1 p.m. THURSDAY Baseball — Amity at Warrenton, 4:30 p.m.; Ocosta at Ilwaco (2), 3 p.m. SATURDAY Baseball — Willamina at Warrenton (2), Noon; Knappa at Santiam (2), 1 p.m. SOFTBALL Warrenton 11, Astoria 0 Warrenton 030 005 3—11 11 2 Astoria 000 000 0—0 3 5 WP: Niqui Blodgett (8 K’s, 4 walks). LP: McKailyn Rogers (2 K’s, 1 walk). RBI: War, Ramsey 3, Bussert 2, Miethe, Duncan. 2B: War, Duncan 2, Bussert; Ast, Hougham. HBP: War, Kapua. LOB: Warrenton 5, Astoria 6. BASEBALL Astoria 4, Madison 2 Madison 101 000 0—2 4 0 Astoria 001 003 x—4 4 0 Bennett, Powers (6) and Dunster; En- glund, Hageman (5), Fremstad (7) and Gohl. W: Hageman. L: Powers. S: Frem- stad. RBI: Mad, Glenn, Bains; Ast, Tui- mato, Patterson, Arnsdorf. HBP: Mad, Powers, Bennett, Bains, Stuhr; Ast, Tu- imato. LOB: Madison 10, Astoria 6. Blazers defeat Nuggets to take 1-game lead for 8th seed in Western Conference By ERIK GARCIA GUNDERSEN Associated Press PORTLAND — Jusuf Nurkic knows what his former team is miss- ing. He illustrated that Tuesday night and got serenaded by his new fans in the process. Nurkic had a career-high 33 points with 16 rebounds against his ex-team- mates, CJ McCollum had 39 points and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Denver Nuggets 122-113 on Tuesday night to take hold of the eighth seed in the Western Conference. “They know definitely what they’re missing,” Nurkic said. “But they’re happy for me that I find my spot, and I’m happy for me, too.” Portland leads Denver by a game UP NEXT: TRAIL BLAZERS • Houston Rockets (51-23) at Portland Trail Blazers (36-38) • Thursday, 7:30 p.m. TV: TNT for the final playoff spot in the West- ern Conference. The Blazers also clinched the season-series tiebreaker with the Nuggets, giving them an upper hand with eight games to play. After the game, Nurkic’s former coach could only tip his hat. “Jusuf Nurkic kicked our ass,” Nuggets coach Mike Malone said. “(He) was very physical.” Jameer Nelson led Denver with 23 points. The Blazers got Nurkic involved early against his former team. On Portland’s first possession, Nur- kic scored on a post-up play against Nikola Jokic, who took Nurkic’s starting spot in Denver. After another first-quarter basket, Nurkic called on the crowd to pick up the noise, which was a theme for him throughout the night, even while on the bench. When Nurkic left the game late in the third quarter, he did so to a stand- ing ovation. It wouldn’t be his last of the night, as Blazers coach Terry Stotts pulled Nurkic for a curtain call with 19 sec- onds left. Nurkic spoke to the crowd after the game, even taking a shot at his former team. “I wish those guys a happy sum- mer,” Nurkic said. IRRIGON — The Knappa softball team ran into a tough Grant Union squad Tuesday after- noon on the second day of the Loggers’ road swing through east- ern Oregon. Hours after an eight-inning loss to Burns, the Loggers went down in five innings to Grant Union, which posted a 13-2 win over Knappa. Paris Vanderburg was 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI’s for the Loggers, and Sophie Carlson added a hit. Knappa held a 6-1 lead in Tues- day’s opener with Burns, before the Hilanders rallied. Vanderburg was 2-for-3, and Katie Denny highlighted a Knappa rally with a two-run single. Logger freshman pitcher Mad- elynn Weaver struck out eight with two walks. Tryouts for Merchants youth softball this Sunday The Daily Astorian Tryouts for North Coast Mer- chants 2017 softball season are Sunday at Warrenton High School, rain or shine. There are two teams in the association, which provides com- petitive fast-pitch softball for North Coast girls ages 10-14: a 12-and-Under team (2004 birth- day or younger) and a 14-and-Un- der team (2002 birthday or younger). Summer fees are $200 per player. Tournaments are two-day events out of town. Sunday’s tryout will be from 10 a.m. to noon for 12U, and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. for 14U. There is a $10 tryout fee for all new players. To preregister or for more information, leave a message on the North Coast Merchant Face- book page or email coach Staci Miethe at: stacimiethe@msn. com.