ASHLAND — Just in time for Cascade Conference competition, at least the Southern Oregon University softball team's bats showed up Friday afternoon at University Field.
The Raiders scored more runs in a doubleheader against Northwest Christian than they had in their other eight games combined, the winning run included in the eighth inning of an 8-7 Game 1 decision. Some run-prevention woes caught up with SOU in the second game, though, and the Beacons scored nine unanswered to win 9-4.
Three errors bit the Raiders in the nightcap, but they ducked the same fate in the opener despite four errors.
With the bases loaded and none out in the first extra inning of Game 1, Alexa Gonzalez grounded to shortstop and Cheyenne Bricker beat the throw home to snap a four-game losing streak for the Raiders (2-8, 1-1) and give them their 14th straight win over NCU (2-11, 1-1).
Tyler Burke, Sulie Augustine and Julia Willison had three hits apiece in the win. The Raiders led 3-0 after Augustine hit and RBI double and an RBI triple, but the Beacons grabbed the lead right back in the fourth, 4-3, thanks to Bre Johnson's three-run triple and a couple of SOU errors.
Three Raider run-scoring hits put them back on top in the bottom of the inning — Megan Scherer's two-run double and singles by Burke and Gonzalez. It wasn't until the seventh that NCU pushed across two runs to tie. The inning started with a couple of bunt singles and a fielding error, and Jill Suratt's two-out single was the equalizer.
SOU had a little luck of its own to set up Gonzalez, loading the bases on a fielding error, a fielder's choice and an infield single.
In Game 2, Parker Bonife's legitimate pop gave the Beacons a split. She went the other way with a towering three-run homer to start a six-run fourth inning, then added insurance in the seventh with a two-run single. Laynee Bevans' two-run triple in the fourth put NCU up for good, 5-4.
After scoring four runs in the first, all of which were unearned, SOU's early advantage was erased. Katie Walker blanked the Raiders over her final six innings, allowing seven hits, walking one and striking out one in the complete game.
Willison went 3-for-4 again as she and Scherer cashed in on NCU's three first-inning errors with RBI singles.
Track and Field
BOXER COMBINED EVENTS — At Forest Grove, Southern Oregon occupied the second, third and fourth spots as the women's heptathlon concluded at Pacific University.
Amelia Maguin was the runner-up of the competition, which featured 14 individuals at Lincoln Park Stadium, maintaining the spot she had after the first four events on Thursday. Anna Reitman jumped from sixth to third, and fellow freshman Lauren McGowne took fourth.
Maguin, who finished with Cascade Conference qualifying marks in the 100-meter hurdles, the 200-meter run, the long jump and the javelin throw, raced to the top time in the 800 (2:24.63) to cap her efforts. Earlier, she was second in the javelin (96 feet) and fourth in the long jump (16 feet, 1.7 inches). She racked up 4,086 points in all, just short of the 4,226 accumulated by champion Elizabeth Venzon of Clackamas Community College.
Reitman shined, too, in the 800, finishing second to Maguin with a time of 2:26.50. She was fourth in the javelin and sixth in long jump, hitting a total of three CCC qualifying marks over two days.
McGowne outshined the whole field with a mark of 17 feet, six inches in the long jump. That was a CCC qualifying mark, as were here marks in the 100-meter hurdles and the high jump on Thursday.
Anthony Neal finished 10th for SOU in the men's decathlon. He hit his CCC qualifying mark Thursday in the high jump, for which he tied for the top mark.
Ezekiel Smith of George Fox held onto his lead to win the decathlon.