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First-baseman Macey Nelson raises her glove to tag out the runner in the Panthers’ play-in game.

INDEPENDENCE — Friday, the Panthers fell at Ridgeview 3-2 in the quarterfinals game, ending the season ranked third in league.

Still, the team deserves celebration.

It’s been seven years since the Central High School Panthers softball team has made it past the play-in game in the postseason.

The team punched its ticket to the quarterfinals on May 22 after a 6-0 shutout against Eagle Point (16-10 overall, 13-3 Midwestern League).

Senior Sydney Nash started the game off for the Panthers (17-9 overall, 13-3 Mid-Willamette Conference) in the bottom of the first inning with one run, followed by runs from seniors Mariah Hyre and Allison Wells to put them on top 3-0.

Junior Bailey Padilla collected two runs for the day, crossing the plate in the second and sixth innings.

Capitalizing on the Eagles’ lack of defense, Hyre opened the bottom of the third with a double, and crossed the plate off a freshman Peyton Foreman single to scratch another run to the scoreboard.

The team tallied up 10 hits total.

In the circle, sophomore Emily Cole pitched the four-hit shutout, striking out three.

“To put up a 6-0 score, getting a shutout in the playoffs, I mean, obviously that’s huge,” said head coach Amber McLean.

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