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SOU overpowers Argos again for series sweep

PASCO, Wash. — The hits kept coming for Southern Oregon in another sweep of Providence (Mont.) on Saturday afternoon, 13-1 in seven innings and 9-1 in five at the Pasco Sporting Complex, and senior catcher Harlee Donovan continued to not make outs.

Remarkably, Donovan reached base in all 19 of her plate appearances during the perfect series. She finished 7-for-8 with three extra-base hits and 11 walks — the only minor blemish: she got on via an error. Over SOU's last seven games, she's reached in 28 of 30 plate appearances.

The Raiders, ranked No. 3 in the NAIA ahead of next week's first regular-season poll, improved to 19-7 overall and 4-2 in the Cascade Conference. The Argos dropped to 2-6 and 0-3. During the four-game set, they committed 16 errors compared to SOU's three, issued 30 walks compared to three strikeouts, and were outscored 58-10.

Rebecca Velasquez went 3-for-4 with a double and three RBIs in Game 1. She put SOU up with an RBI single in the first, added an RBI double in the sixth and another RBI single in the seventh. Hannah Wessel scored four runs and hit a run-scoring single in the third.

With SOU leading 3-0 in the fifth, Karlee Coughlin poked a two-run double down the left-field line. Donovan hit another two-run double in the sixth, which Velasquez followed with her double, and the Raiders tacked on five runs in the seventh. They took advantage of 11 bases on balls in the game.

Taelor Mayben and Coughlin had two hits apiece as SOU totaled 12 in support of starter Gabby Sandoval (9-3). Sandoval allowed one run and five hits in 4 2/3 innings, striking out seven, before giving way to Morgan Jones, who retired all seven batters she faced.

In Game 2, Allie Hancock (3-0) tossed a five-inning complete game with five strikeouts and no walks, conceding only an unearned run. Hannah Shimek went 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBI, while Kelsey Randall, Avery Morehead-Hutsell and Wessel scored two runs apiece. Randall scored five times and stole five bases on the day.

A double-steal by Donovan and Morehead-Hutsell gave the Raiders the lead in the first, and a Randall grounder that resulted in an error scored Shimek to make it 2-0 in the second. The Raiders added four more in the fourth and three in the fifth. In the series, they scored a combined 36 runs in the final two innings of each game.

They'll return home next for a CCC series against Northwest next weekend. First pitches are scheduled for 2 p.m. on Friday and 11 a.m. on Saturday.

Notes: Donovan raised her batting average to .471 and her on-base percentage to .608. The Raider record for on-base percentage in a season is .519. She's walked 26 times already, including 16 times in SOU's last seven games; she walked 31 times all of last year... Randall has stolen 31 bases without being caught. No one else in the NAIA has more than 22 steals.