Raiders swept, but still make tourney

PORTLAND — There was reason for the Southern Oregon University softball team to celebrate Saturday despite the fact that it endured two losses at 25th-ranked Concordia on the final day of the regular season.

While the Cavaliers were taking care of the Raiders, 5-1 and 9-2, at Sandy High School, Corban was taking care of SOU's dirty work in Salem, rallying from a 4-0 deficit for a 6-4 win over Northwest Christian in the first game of a doubleheader. The loss eliminated NCU from playoff contention and gave SOU the No. 4 seed in next week's double-elimination Cascade Conference Tournament.

The Raiders (15-21 overall, 14-14 CC) will open the tourney against league champ and host Oregon Tech (32-10, 23-5) on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. That game will be preceded by a 9 a.m. matchup between No. 2 Concordia (30-16, 22-6) and No. 3 College of Idaho (27-13, 19-9).

OIT won all four regular season contests against SOU. The teams last clashed in the postseason in 2006, and the Raiders last appeared in the conference tournament in 2010, falling 2-1 at Corban.

As for Saturday, Megan Scherer's three-run homer gave the Raiders a highlight at the end of an afternoon that didn't yield many. Karlie Stephens' 41/3-inning relief stint in which she held the Cavs to one run in Game 1 was another, but it came after that Raiders had already lost control.

Concordia grabbed a 4-1 lead in the second inning as Kate Santos hit a two-run homer and Katie Aden added a two-run single. Cavs pitcher McKenzie Marshall made it stand, scattering six hits with three strikeouts in her second complete-game win against SOU.

In Game 2, Taylor Bussey gave the Cavs a first-inning edge with a two-run double. Brianne Craig cut into it with an RBI single in the top of the fourth, but the Cavs scored four more in the bottom of the inning.

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