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Quirke throws perfect game, SOU sweeps George Fox

NEWBERG — No one knows the difficulty of outshining Southern Oregon ace Gabby Sandoval better than the Raiders’ No. 2 pitcher, Lauren Quirke. It took perfection Friday at George Fox.

Quirke, a senior NAIA All-American known more for her bat-related exploits, became the first Raider to throw a perfect game since the program was revived in 2001, retiring all 21 Bruins she faced in a 1-0 victory that completed a doubleheader sweep at Morse Field.

Quirke’s opening act was another Sandoval gem, a five-hit complete game in an 8-1 win that made her 5-0 on the season and brought her consecutive-decisions-won streak to 18. It was supported by a Quirke home run.

The top-ranked Raiders are 9-1 going into Saturday’s twin bill at Corban, which is the final nonleague date on their schedule.

Quirke went to 3-1 in the circle. She needed just 76 pitches to finish the feat and recorded a career-high eight strikeouts. In 23 previous starts at pitcher for the Raiders, she’d never before thrown a seven-inning shutout and was coming off of two of her rougher outings, having failed to get through the fourth innings of both.

Only two Bruins got the ball out of the infield against Quirke. For the final out, she fielded Katie Ladd’s soft grounder and lobbed to first baseman Tayler Walker.

Hers was the fourth no-hitter in SOU history, and the first since Julianne Cree’s 15 years ago. Brandi Brown accounted for the first two, in 2001 and ‘02.

SOU’s lineup got Quirke her run in the first inning. Allie Stines, who went 3-for-4 in the game, led off with a double, advanced to third on an error, and came home via Hannah Shimek’s sacrifice fly.

In Game 1, the Raiders spread their scoring over five frames and accumulated 15 hits. Quirke’s two-run homer — her second of the year — and Katrina Winterburn’s solo shot were the loudest of the bunch.

Winterburn was 3-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBIs. Quirke, Shimek, Olivia Mackey and Lindsey Stripling all had three hits, and Shimek swiped a pair of bases.

Sandoval struck out six without issuing a walk. Kimberly Pulido’s single in the second drove in the day’s only run for George Fox (3-3).

Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneSOU’s Lauren Quirke delivers in the 4th inning.