Raiders settle for split with Eastern

ASHLAND — Southern Oregon used an eight-run first inning to claim a 12-2 victory over Eastern Oregon in the opener and the Mountaineers overcame a five-run deficit to win the second game 6-5 as the teams split a Cascade Collegiate Conference softball doubleheader Saturday at University Field.

Southern Oregon finishes the weekend with a 14-15 overall record, 10-6 in conference play, while Eastern Oregon goes to 11-22 overall and 2-14 in the CCC. The Raiders return to action next weekend with a pair of road doubleheaders against Concordia and Northwest.

Sydney White pitched her third two-hitter of the weekend in the opener, limiting the Mountaineers to two runs in five innings. Kayla Anderson took the loss for EOU. Tailor Snow earned the complete-game win for the Mountaineers in the second game, while Karlie Stephens started and took the loss for SOU.

Sierra Anderson led the way offensively for the Raiders, finishing the day with four hits and four runs batted in. Alexa Gonzalez, Jessica Flores, Lauren Keel and Irene Barrantes each tallied three hits for SOU, while Gracie Flyg and Katie Martell each finished the day with three hits for the Mountaineers.

Eastern Oregon's only two hits of the opening game came in the first inning, as Martell singled and Sarah Jackson followed with a two-run home run for the Mountaineers. Southern Oregon responded with its biggest single-inning outburst of the season in the bottom of the first, scoring eight runs on six hits.

Keel led off the frame with a single and Kara Kelsey followed with a bunt single. Gonzalez walked to load the bases, and Stephanie Vandenbusch brought a run home when she was hit by a pitch. Anderson singled home two runs, and Julia Willison again loaded the bases when she was hit by a pitch. Barrantes knocked a double to right to bring home two runs, Flores singled two more home and Keel brought home the final run with her second hit of the inning, a triple to right center.

The Raiders added three more runs in the bottom of the second inning. Ashley Lowe led off with a double to right and came in to score on a double by Willison. A Barrantes single followed by an EOU error led to two more runs as SOU made it 11-2. Southern Oregon's final run came in the fourth, as Vandenbusch singled and scored on an RBI groundout by Flores.

Early on it looked like the second game might end in similar fashion, as Southern Oregon scored five runs in the first three innings. Keel, Kelsey and Gonzalez opened the bottom of the first with consecutive singles, and an Anderson sacrifice fly made it 2-0 at the end of the first. Three more hits in the second added another run, as Barrantes singled and scored on a Gonzalez base hit through the left side.

The Raiders took advantage of a pair of Eastern Oregon errors to score their final two runs in the third. Vandenbusch reached on the first error and scored on Anderson's triple to right, and the SOU second baseman scored on Barrantes' fielder's choice.

Eastern Oregon began its comeback with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth inning. Jackson and Flyg singled and scored on a double by Snow to make it 5-2. An RBI single by Flyg the following inning made it a two-run game, and the Mountaineers took their first lead of the day with three runs in the top of the sixth.

With two outs, back-to-back singles by Rachel Hatzell and Mariebeth Watanabe set up a two-run double by Cassie Wendt that tied the game. Wendt gave EOU the lead a moment later when she came in to score on a single to right by Martell.

The Raiders nearly tied it up in the bottom of the seventh. Anderson opened the inning with a single, and with two outs Flores singled to put the tying run on third. But Keel fell behind 1-2 before grounding out to third to end the game.

Track and Field

BORDER BATTLE — At Klamath Falls, Southern Oregon claimed eight event titles and Danny Parks hit an NAIA automatic qualifying mark in the discus despite cold and windy conditions.

Parks won the discus event with a throw of 158-feet, 6-inches to surpass the NAIA 'A' standard, and the junior also placed in the top three and qualified for the Cascade Collegiate Conference championships in two other throwing events. He placed second in the hammer with a throw of 146-11 and placed third in the shot put (44-3 1/4).

Mikayla Garrad and Jonz Olander won the men's and women's 400-meter dash events, with Garrard finishing the women's race in a time of 58.82 and Olander finishing the men's race in a time of 49.46, both hitting CCC qualifiers in the event. Sullivan Stevens led a group of four conference qualifiers for the Raiders in the men's 110-meter hurdles, winning the race with a time of 15.37.

Angie Meza and Peter Stice won the men's and women's 800-meter races, with Meza finishing the women's race in a time of 3:08.98 and Stice posting a time of 2:02.54 to claim the men's race. Southern Oregon also won a pair of relay events, with the 4x400 meter women's team posting an event-winning time of 4:13.56 and the 4x100 men's team winning the race with a time of 43.35.

Overall, Southern Oregon finished with 25 conference qualifying marks as the California schools defeated the Oregon schools (SOU and Oregon Tech) 102.3-58.7 on the men's side and 104.7-60.2 on the women's side.

Southern Oregon returns to action Friday and Saturday at the Chico State Distance Carnival and Twilight Invitational.

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