ASHLAND — Southern Oregon overcame a 4-0 deficit in both games to claim a pair of Cascade Collegiate Conference softball victories over Concordia, winning both contests in extra innings by identical scores of 5-4 on Saturday at University Field.
Stephanie Vandenbusch tallied four hits to lead SOU on the day, including a two-run home run and four RBIs in the opener, while Sierra Anderson poked the game-winning hit to end each contest. Robin Gawlista and Taylor Copher each finished with three hits for the Cavaliers.
Sydney White pitched a complete game for SOU (11-10, 7-1 CCC) in the opener to earn the victory, giving up four runs on eight hits with five strikeouts. Ashley Suter pitched into the sixth inthing for CU before Danielle Orvella took over and threw the final 22/3 innings to take the loss.
Mary Lugar put Concordia (18-9, 4-4) on the board in the top of the third with a homer to right, and Kate Santos singled and scored in the fourth to make it 2-0 CU. The Cavaliers added two more in the top of the fifth when Gawlista opened with a single and scored on a Katie Aden homer to left.
The Raiders started working their way back into the game in the bottom of the fifth. Julia Willison was hit by a pitch to open the inning and Vandenbusch powered a homer to center to make it 4-2 and give SOU its first hit of the game. Southern Oregon tied it up with two more the next inning, taking advantage of a CU error to score a pair on a two-out Vandenbusch single to right.
Both teams left two runners on in the seventh inning before the game went into an extra frame. The Raiders broke through for the walk-off win in the bottom of the eighth, when Vandenbusch again came through with a big hit. The shortstop dropped a two-out triple into right field and scored the winning run on a single by Anderson.
Game 2 featured a similar storyline, as Concordia scored a run in the first and three more in the third before the Raiders tied it up and took an extra-inning win. Orvella pitched the first two innings for Concordia, giving up four runs on seven hits before Suter took over and limited SOU to one unearned run on four hits over the final 61/3 innings. Karlie Stephens went the distance to earn the win.
With two outs in the first Santos walked and scored on Taylor Copher's double to center. Two innings later, the Cavs combined four hits to score three more runs and take an early 4-0 lead. Unlike the first game, however, the Raiders did not wait long to respond.
Four singles, a fielder's choice and a sacrifice fly helped Southern Oregon score four runs in the third to tie it up. That would prove to be the only scoring for either team until six innings later. The Raiders left five runners on base between the sixth and seventh innings, and Concordia was unable to capitalize on a two-on, one-out opportunity in the eighth when Barrantes fielded a hard grounder next to third base, tagged the bag and threw to first for an inning-ending double play.
Concordia's eighth error of the day cost the Cavaliers in the bottom of the ninth. Ashley Lowe hit a one-out single and advanced to second on a fielder's choice throwing error by the Cavs. After a walk to Vandenbusch loaded the bases, Anderson repeated her walk-off heroics of a few hours earlier with a line drive single to right field.
HORNET INVITATIONAL — At Sacramento, Eric Avila won the men's 1,500-meter race to lead a group of four NAIA qualifiers as totaled 37 Cascade Collegiate Conference qualifying marks at the Sacramento State Hornet Invitational.
Avila finished first in the 1,500 with an NAIA 'A' qualifying time of 3 minutes, 49.62 seconds, with teammate Zach Boyd-Helm finishing right behind in second with a time of 3:50.93. That time earned Boyd-Helm an automatic qualification to the NAIA meet as well, giving SOU two automatic qualifiers for the meet.
Sullivan Stevens finished second in the 110-meter hurdles in 14.72. His time surpassed the NAIA 'B' standard provisional qualifying time. Alexandra Rudd earned SOU's fourth NAIA qualifying mark, hitting the 'B' standard in the 5,000 with a time of 17:48.07.
Mikayla Garrard hit a season-best in the women's 400, qualifying for the CCC meet with a time of 58.44. Anne Hagy also posted one of her career-best times in the women's 5,000, finishing ninth with a conference-qualifying time of 18:19.44.
Jonz Olander posted conference qualifying times with season bests in both the men's 100- and 200-meter races. Olander placed 25th in the 100 with a time of 11.02 and finished 20th in the 200 with a time of 22.33. Nick Perrino tallied a season-best time of 49.89 in the men's 400, finishing eighth in the race to qualify for the conference meet.
Southern Oregon returns to action next Saturday at the Chico State Invitational.