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Clan sends Raiders packing

PORTLAND - The 2004 Southern Oregon University softball — season ended Friday, but not before the 22nd-ranked Raiders gave powerhouse — Simon Fraser University a stern challenge in the finals of the NAIA Region — I tournament at Delta Park.

After toppling archrival Oregon Tech 3-2 in a 10-inning — thriller in a morning loser-out semifinal clash, the Raiders operated — with 1-0 and 3-2 leads and trailed only 6-5 entering the final inning — before falling to the defending national champions, 11-5, in the tournament-clinching — contest.

SOU, which needed to defeat the three-time regional champion — Clan (32-2) twice to win the four-team tourney crown and earn a trip to — nationals, capped the year with a program-best 40-12 record.

The Raiders, who fell to 0-8 all-time against the Canadian — school, staked the 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning when Carla — Lillis scored all the way from first base on a Seanna Doyel bunt single — and a two-base throwing error by Clan third baseman Ali Caviglia.

A Lillis RBI groundout and another Clan throwing error — gave SOU a 3-2 edge after the fourth inning.

SFU took the lead for good with four runs on five hits — in the sixth frame, but Southern pulled within 6-5 on a Lillis RBI single — to left field and on a bases-loaded passed ball by catcher Kim Rossiter.

Clan All-American pitcher Erin Thomas, however, quelled — the sixth-inning rally by enticing Miranda Gillaspie to groundout to second, — and SFU put the game out of reach when Caviglia capped a five-run seventh — with a three-run homer over the center field fence.

SOU advanced to the afternoon session by downing OIT for — the seventh time in nine season meetings this season and for the second — time in the tournament.

The longtime rivals battled to a 2-2 deadlock until a — bases-loaded single by sophomore Amy Williams scored Haley Varley for — the game winning run with one out in the bottom of the 10th inning.

Gillaspie, who pitched every inning in both contests, — yielded only three Owl hits for her 23rd season victory.

Varley went 3-for-4 and scored twice against OIT, led — SOU with four hits on the day and finished with a .403 season average.

Junior shortstop Kara Ray had two hits to finish as the — team and Cascade Conference batting champion (.406).