ASHLAND, Ore. -- The Carroll softball team fell in the opening game of the Cascade Conference Tournament on Friday, 5-3 to rival University of Great Falls in Ashland, Oregon.

The Argos got out to an early lead, scoring four runs in the first inning on two doubles a single in the bottom of the first.

Carroll responded with a run on a ground-out by Megan Gipe that scored Tianna Sell, who led off the inning with a triple.

Both pitchers settled in and the score remained 4-1 until the fifth inning, when Great Falls launched a solo home run to right field.

Allison Bayer returned the favor in the sixth with her fourth home run of the season, a solo shot to left that made it a 5-2 UGF lead after six innings.

Carroll, though, made it interesting at the end. 

The Saints rallied in the final frame, a push started by a Taylor Ostwald double, followed by a Kaydee Parsons walk. Paige Blake moved the runners over to scoring position after a sacrifice bunt, and Jaylin Kenney reached base on a throwing error that brought home Ostwald to bring the Saints within two.

That was as close as Carroll would get, however, as Justine Taylor struck out and Bayer grounded out to shortstop to end the game.

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Gipe went six innings, giving up five runs on eight hits while walking two batters.

The Saints recorded six hits on the day, scoring three runs with two hitters reaching base on walks.

“I think we had some jitters entering the game but we settled down.” coach Aaron Jackson said. “Our offense was a hit away from tying the game, and we just need to convert in those situations.”

Carroll will face Corban University at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in an elimination game. Corban lost earlier on Friday to Eastern Oregon, 7-1 after nine innings.

“We battled them tough during the regular season.” Jackson said of Saturday's opponent. “We will give them a different look tomorrow to mix it up and hopefully get a win.”

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