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RAIDER ROUNDUP: SOU stays hot, takes two vs. Corban

ASHLAND — Southern Oregon is one win away from becoming the first team to ever get through a Cascade Conference softball schedule with just one loss after applying the eight-run mercy rule twice more against Corban on Friday at University Field.

The No. 1-ranked Raiders only needed five innings to finish off both wins against the Warriors, 8-0 and 13-5, and bring their record to 43-3 overall and 25-1 in the CCC entering the final day of the regular season. Gabby Sandoval pitched a three-hit shutout and Lauren Quirke drove her seventh home run of the month in Game 1, and the Raiders erased a 5-2 deficit with a 10-run fourth inning in which Allie Stines tallied five RBIs in Game 2.

The Warriors (25-19, 16-10) locked into the No. 4 seed for next week’s six-team CCC Tournament with the losses.

Sandoval earned both wins — the 113th and 114th of her career — after pitching the final 1 2/3 innings in relief in the nightcap. They made her 24-1.

She brought a no-hitter into the fifth inning of Game 1, striking out eight with no walks. A pair of unearned runs against Corban starter Ally Crakes gave her a lead in the second, and the Raiders added four more in the third on Rylan Austin and Olivia Mackey RBI singles, Katrina Winterburn’s RBI triple, and Quirke’s 10th home run — a shot over the fence in right field.

Quirke’s recent run has brought her within two homers of SOU’s single-season record. She, Riley Donovan, Avery Morehead-Hutsell, Tayler Walker and Austin had two hits each in Game 1.

In Game 2, Makiah Johnson’s two-run double and run-scoring single helped the Warriors to a 5-2 edge heading into the bottom of the fourth. There, SOU sent 14 batters to the plate.

Stines came up with the bases loaded twice in the inning, clearing them with a double on the first occasion and capping the rally with a two-run single on the second.

SOU totaled 13 hits and the Warriors assisted with five errors. Hannah Shimek went 2-for-4 with four runs and an RBI, Austin went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and a run scored, and Mackey added a pair of hits and runs.

The teams will play two more today, a CCC counter at 11 a.m. and a non-conference finale at 1 p.m.

The Raiders won all nine of their CCC series this season. They’ve won 22 of their last 23 dating back to 2018, including 11 straight home series.

Track and Field

BRYAN, GONZALEZ MEET NEW ‘A’ STANDARDS: At Corvallis, pole vaulter Garrett Bryan and thrower Luigi Gonzalez became the Southern Oregon men’s track and field team’s fifth and sixth automatic qualifiers for the NAIA Outdoor Championships at Oregon State’s High Performance Meet.

Bryan, a junior from Mount Shasta, Calif., cleared 16 feet, ½ inches for second place in the competition and the sixth-best mark in the NAIA this season. He’s just the fourth individual in school history to break 16 feet, and the mark was nearly 10 inches better than his previous best this season.

Gonzalez, a senior transfer from Cal State San Marcos making his Raider debut, threw the hammer 181-9, also good for the No. 4 spot on SOU’s all-time list. His was the 13th-best throw in the NAIA, and he joined teammate Trevor Holt in the ‘A’ standard category.

Bryan and Gonzalez both landed at the top of the Cascade Conference performance lists.

On the track, Arianna Daniel recorded another season-best in the 200 meters of 24.57 seconds, the fastest time in a field of 37 individuals. It moved her up three spots to No. 13 on the NAIA performance list — her previous time was 24.63 — and put her in front of teammates Lindsey Bonney in sixth place (24.93) and Baylee Touey in 12th (25.58).

Chris Rosero placed third of 14 in 22.03 in the men’s 200.

In the 3K steeplechase open, Zeke Stelzer was runner-up in 9:27.04 and Kevin VanDyke was fourth in 9:30.42. Stelzer already had an NAIA ‘A’ time in the event (9:22.18) and VanDyke improved his ‘B’ time by three-tenths of a second. They remained at Nos. 4 and 9 on the national list.