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SOU roundup: Raiders finally enjoy home cookin'

ASHLAND — Southern Oregon played its first home softball games in over a year Thursday. That passage of time was not reflected by the product on the field.

Still No. 1 in the NAIA rankings, the Raiders leaned on the same old one-two pitching combo of Gabby Sandoval and Lauren Quirke, who combined for 23 strikeouts over 12 innings in SOU’s 8-0 and 6-0 wins against Warner Pacific at University Field.

The top of the order hasn’t gone anywhere either, which was made clear as leadoff hitter Allie Stines hit two doubles and a home run and No. 2 hitter Hannah Shimek went 4-for-6 with a pair of triples.

The Raiders (21-1, 8-0 Cascade Conference) have won 15 straight.

Shortstop Rylan Austin helped them keep streaking through Game 1 by going 3-for-3 with four RBIs, and Avery Morehead-Hutsell triggered the eight-run mercy rule with a two-run single that capped a five-run fifth inning.

Sandoval needed only those five frames to strike out 10 for the second start in a row. She walked two and allowed two hits.

The senior is now 11-0 with 25 straight wins and an ERA that’s shrunk to 1.12.

Quirke one-upped her with a seven-inning, 13-strikeout, two-hit shutout. She’s now gone five straight starts — a total of 31 innings — without allowing an earned run or more than three hits.

Before this stretch, she yielded 13 runs over 17 1/3 innings in her first four starts.

As Quirke improved to 7-1, Stines extended her hitting streak to 20 games. She doubled off the wall with two outs in the third inning of Game 2, and Shimek followed with a triple to put the Raiders up 1-0.

With the score the same in the fifth and Morehead-Hutsell and Olivia Mackey on base with bunt singles, Stines drove her second homer of the season to the opposite field, just clearing the fence in left-center.

Shimek then hit another triple, her sixth of the young season, and Quirke drove her in to put the Raiders up 5-0.

Stines’ doubles gave her an NAIA-high 17. She’s hit seven in SOU’s last six games.

The Raiders had never before played the Knights (7-11, 1-7), in their second year as a program. The teams will hook up for two more Friday starting at 1 p.m.

Track and Field

RAIDERS QUALIFY: At Ashland, in Southern Oregon’s first outdoor action since 2019, the 4x100 relay team of Baylee Touey, Arianna Daniel, Julia Delucchi and Lindsey Bonney ran together for the first time and without an opponent on the track to push them but still turned in a time of 47.60 seconds that qualified them automatically for the NAIA Championships.

They’re already the fourth-fastest quartet in school history.

Trevor Holt, a transfer from Sacramento Community College who joined the team last year, marked his Raider debut with the fourth-best hammer throw in the school record book at 181 feet, 4 inches, good for another NAIA ‘A’ qualifier.

The Raiders put up 13 Cascade Conference qualifying marks in the meet, which included Bushnell, Humboldt State (Calif.), Oregon Tech and Umpqua CC. It concludes Friday and is the first of three small meets SOU will host prior to the Raider Invitational on April 23-24.

Bonney also picked up a win in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.80 seconds, edging runner-up teammate Savannah Greenwade’s 13.17.

Sophomore thrower KiAshe Hobby, the 2019 Cascade Conference hammer champion, topped the field in the hammer (157-2) and the shot put (37-6 1/2), with Sarah Johnston second in both disciplines.

Grants Pass product Camdyn Bruner, a freshman, won the long jump by going 17 feet.

Kayla Clayton rounded out SOU’s women’s leaders with a second-place effort in the 3,000-meter race in 10 minutes 50.34 seconds.

On the men’s side, defending CCC 100 and 200 champion Chris Rosero started with a win in the 100, as he and teammate Shane McLaughlin went 1-2 in 11.27 and 11.28 seconds. In the 3K, SOU went 2-3-4 with Isaac Fernandez (8:54.89), Kevin VanDyke (8:55.82) and Zeke Stelzer (8:58.86).

Adam O’Brien took third in the long jump at 20-4 1/4.

Friday’s events will include the 200, 100 and 110 hurdles, 800, 4x400 and high jump.

Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune SOU's Rylan Austin gets a base hit in the 5th inning during game one Thursday afternoon at SOU.
Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune SOU's Riley Donovan gets a base hit during game one Thursday afternoon at SOU.