KLAMATH FALLS — The Oregon Tech softball team's pitching staff stayed tough on Southern Oregon and helped the 17th-ranked Owls close in on a Cascade Conference title with 4-3 and 8-0 wins Monday at the OIT Softball Complex.
The Owls (29-9 overall, 20-4 CCC) strung together four singles to plate the tying and go-ahead runs in the sixth inning of Game 1, and Jessi Duncan's shutout was backed by 12 hits in Game 2, including home runs off the bats of Alyssa Davis and Cassidy Olson. Both had four hits on the day.
They completed a sweep of the regular season series having allowed three earned runs in 27 innings. Rylee Carleton got the win in the opener, fanning four in 22/3 innings of relief, as SOU left 10 runners on base.
The Raiders (13-19, 12-12) have a one-game lead over Corban and a two-game lead over Northwest Christian for the fourth and final spot in the CCC tournament — holding the tiebreaker over the former but not the latter — entering the final weekend of the regular season. The Raiders visit Northwest on Friday and Concordia on Saturday.
Trailing 2-0 in the fourth inning of Game 1, SOU scored its first run on Tyler Burke's bases-loaded walk that forced in Julia Willison, who went 1-for-2 with two runs. They took the lead in the fifth as Megan Scherer, who went 3-for-4, tied it with an infield single and Sierra Anderson hit the go-ahead sacrifice fly.
Singles by Davis, Olson, Tori Weatherford and Cassidy Hoglund brought OIT back in the sixth. Tasha Silvius' bases-loaded sacrifice fly proved to be the game-winner.
Brianne Craig took the loss but yielded just two earned runs in 51/3.
In Game 2, Davis hit an RBI double in a two-run first and a solo homer in a two-run third. The game ended with one out in the sixth when Sadie Birch smacked a double to score Shauna Collins, who went 2-for-3.
Eagle Point's Karlie Stephens had a pair of singles.
SACRAMENTO STATE 7, OREGON STATE 6 — At Sacramento, Michael Conforto homered and drove in three runs to pace the fifth-ranked Oregon State in a the nonconference loss.
Conforto went 4-for-4 and helped the Beavers (27-8 overall) to a 6-1 lead after two innings. But Scotty Burcham drove in the game-winning run with a single to left in the eighth for the Hornets.
The game-winning hit came off OSU reliever Andrew Moore, who allowed two hits and a run in two-thirds of an inning. He dropped to 3-3.
Jace Fry started and pitched four innings for the Beavers. He allowed nine hits and three runs.
The teams play again today.