Raider bats erupt in conference sweep
ASHLAND — Southern Oregon enjoyed a parade around the bases as the 18th-ranked Raiders posted softball wins of 11-1 and 12-1 in Cascade Conference play against Northwest Christian Friday.
In Game 1, the Raiders (30-12 overall, 11-3 CCC West) put up a 10-spot in the second inning, their most runs in a single frame in nine years and their most in a conference game in 13.
In Game 2, Alexa Gonzalez hit two home runs — the first multi-homer game of her career — and Megan Winton went deep once to give the Raiders three homers in a single home game for the first time since 2012. Their assault on Beacons pitching resulted in 29 hits on the day, the most for SOU in a CCC twin bill since 2006.
They accomplished it all in 10 innings, as both games were cut short by the mercy rule.
Shortstop Kelsey Randall went 4-for-5 on the day. She also stole four bases without being caught, making her 30-for-32 this year, 64-for-74 in her career and SOU's new all-time leader in steals with six regular-season games to spare in just her sophomore season. She moved into fifth place on SOU's career hits list, too, with 143.
The Raiders remained a game ahead of Oregon Tech for first place in the CCC West going into today's 11 a.m. senior day doubleheader against Corban, which was swept Friday at OIT.
Sydney White (11-6) went three innings, struck out three and yielded two hits during her start in the opener. Lacie Crawford (3-2) entered to pitch two innings of perfect relief before going the distance in Game 2. In all, Crawford struck out five, walked two and yielded five hits and one run in seven frames.
SOU'S Aaliyah Oliver, Tyler Burke, Abigail Lund and Jazmin Ruvalcaba all went 2-for-2 in the opener.
Freshman Amelia Hensler went 3-for-4 on the day.
OREGON 4, USC 3: At Eugene, Oregon won a series opener for the first time in more than a month, kicking off a critical three-game series.
On a night new Friday starter Matt Krook struggled with his command, he fought through to provide six innings and earn the victory. Krook repeatedly worked himself out of jams, while at the plate the Ducks (15-12, 5-5 Pac-12) came through with timely hit after timely hit to tie the Trojans (15-17, 5-5) in the Pac-12 standings.
The Ducks have won three straight for the first time since late February.
USC leadoff hitter Corey Dempster doubled and came around to score to open the game, but Oregon quickly tied the score when Austin Grebeck led off the bottom of the first with a walk and scored on an A.J. Balta triple.
The Ducks went up 2-1 in the second when Slade Heggen tripled with two outs and scored on a single by Grebeck. The Trojans’ two-run fourth put them up 3-2, but UO freshman Travis Moniot led off the bottom of the fifth with a solo homer to deep right, tying the game again.
In the sixth, the Ducks' Jake Bennett led off with a single, stole second and came all the way around when USC committed two errors on the play.
WASHINGTON STATE 7, OREGON STATE 5: At Pullman, Wash., KJ Harrison hit his fifth home run of the season but seventh-ranked Oregon State was unable to hold on to a late lead at Bailey-Brayton Field.
Washington State’s Mason Cerrillo hit a grand slam in the seventh, a half inning after Harrison put the Beavers up 4-3. Oregon State scored a solo run in the eighth, and pinch hitter Billy King was about 10 feet from a game-tying two-run home run on a foul ball in the ninth. He, however, lined into a double play to second base to end the game.
The Beavers (23-8 overall, 6-5 Pac-12 Conference) were held hitless for the first six innings by Washington State starter Ian Hamilton despite scoring the game’s first run in the second.