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Raiders, Coyotes split twin bill

CALDWELL, Idaho ' The Southern Oregon University softball team came a pitch away from a perfect weekend, but the 22nd-ranked Raiders settled for a 3-1 trip by splitting a Cascade Conference doubleheader at Albertson College on Saturday.

The Coyotes (10-11, 3-3 CC) stunned SOU (15-10, 5-3) by scoring four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning for a 6-3 win in Game 1. Southern Oregon, however, scored the final eight runs to secure a 13-5 victory in Game 2.

Trailing 3-2 in the seventh against Raider ace Julianne Cree (6-5), Albertson's A.J. Cavanaugh ignited the comeback with a leadoff single. Two outs later, pinch-runner Stephanie Stover took second on a wild pitch and Katie Theisen walked. Freshman Haley Butcher then rapped a 3-2 pitch into left, scoring Stover to tie the game, and Smith followed on the next pitch with a moon shot to left ' the first game-winning homer in Coyote history.

Game 2 saw Albertson jump out to a 3-0 lead, keyed by a Katie Zillner two-run homer, but the Raiders tallied five in the fourth thanks to a two-run clout by Natalie Nielsen and an inside-the-park homer by Deni Rowley.

Albertson knotted the score at 5-all in the bottom half of the inning, but Megan Holley's first collegiate round-tripper ' a two-run shot in the sixth ' helped SOU take the lead for good.

Rowley equaled a school single-game record with a four-hit game (4-for-5) and scored three runs in Game 2 for SOU, and Nielsen added a 3-for-4 stat line.

— Raider freshman hurler Cat Cousins (5-4) earned the win by allowing only one hit in three scoreless innings of relief.

SOU, which swept Eastern Oregon 17-14 and 15-9 Friday in La Grande, scored 48 weekend runs on 52 hits.

Junior third baseman Katie Lee raised her season batting average 73 points to .333 with a team-best 9-for-16 weekend that produced eight RBIs and six runs scored.