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SOU ROUNDUP: No. 1 Raiders cruise in CCC opener

SPRINGFIELD — Southern Oregon’s offense scored 28 times in 10 innings and three Raider pitchers combined to hold Bushnell without an earned run through a rainy Cascade Conference-opening doubleheader Friday at Rich Schwab Field.

The top-ranked Raiders extended their winning streak to seven games and took their record to 13-1 overall, winning 13-3 and 15-0 in five innings each against the institution formerly known as Northwest Christian, as junior Riley Donovan gave herself a rousing introduction to the circuit. After hitting two RBI doubles through the first two innings of Game 1, she cranked a grand slam that triggered the mercy rule in the fifth.

Heavy precipitation led to control issues for all parties, but Gabby Sandoval worked around her six walks with five strikeouts. All three runs she surrendered were unearned in the fifth. Her record shot to 7-0.

Lauren Quirke went 3-for-3 with three RBIs and three runs in the opener, then earned the Game 2 decision, improving to 5-1, by throwing the first three scoreless frames before giving way to Hannah Stark, who struck out five in her two innings of work.

The Raiders drew 12 walks in Game 2 and scored 14 runs through the first two innings on just six hits — two-run doubles from Quirke and Tayler Walker included. Walker went 2-for-2 with a couple runs scored.

Quirke, Olivia Mackey and Hannah Shimek scored four runs apiece on the day. Allie Stines extended her hitting streak to 12 games with a double and a triple.

Donovan’s grand slam was her second home run of the season. The Raiders’ last grand slam had been Paige Leeper’s in the 2019 NAIA title game, and the one prior to that came off the bat of Donovan’s sister, Harlee Donovan, in the 2018 CCC Tournament.

Men’s Wrestling

BARRERA, COON STOPPED AT NATIONALS: At Park City, Kansas, Southern Oregon 133-pounder Justin Coon came up one win short of All-America accolades on Day 1 of the NAIA Men’s Wrestling Championships, as he and 125-pound teammate Pancho Barrera were eliminated at Hartman Arena.

Barrera and Coon put forth valiant efforts on their first day of competition this season. Oregon Health Authority guidelines had prevented full-contact activity until late February.

Coon was eliminated in a 14-11 loss to No. 8-seeded Dominick Arellano of Baker (Kan.) that kept him just outside of the top eight. In his third appearance at the tournament, the junior opened with a 4-2, Round of 16 loss to No. 3-seeded Conner Gimson of Indiana Tech. He then collected his first-ever national tournament win against Lourdes (Ohio)’s Jimmy Balazy, 11-5.

Barrera — a senior who reached the 2019 NAIA quarterfinals and redshirted last year — won twice and opened with a 9-1 decision over Robert Fairchild of Williams Baptist (Ark.) in the Round of 32. The No. 1 wrestler in the bracket, Grand View (Iowa)’s Justin Portillo, put him in the consolation bracket with a 9-5 decision, but Barrera stayed alive by defeating Marian (Ind.)’s Ty Haskins, 14-7. A 10-4 loss to Wayland Baptist (Texas)’s Jonathan Ortegon ended his day.

Barrera and Coon were among 32 individuals from the Cascade Conference awarded qualifying spots by the league’s coaches after the CCC Championships were canceled.

Men’s Soccer

RAIDERS’ OPENING WEEKEND CANCELED: The Southern Oregon men’s soccer team’s season-opening games at Northwest (Wash.) have been canceled after the Eagles announced they were pausing team activities Friday due to COVID-19 protocols.

The teams were scheduled to play Sunday and Monday in Kirkland, Wash., as part of their 10-game Cascade Conference schedules. The games will not be made up. In the event that teams play an uneven number of games this season, final standings (which determine national tournament qualification) will be ordered by win percentage.

SOU’s women’s soccer games at Northwest will go on as scheduled.

The Raider men’s team will now open the season at home, March 14-15 against Bushnell. Fan attendance will not be permitted at Raider Stadium as long as Jackson County remains in the “High” or Extreme” risk levels.