SOU, OIT split another twin bill
KLAMATH FALLS — Jayce Seavert lined a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning, lifting No. 2-ranked Oregon Tech to a 5-4 Cascade Conference victory over Southern Oregon during Game 1 of a Wednesday afternoon doubleheader at Stilwell Stadium.
The No. 9-ranked Raiders retaliated in the nightcap to score a 2-1 victory, plating the go-ahead run in the seventh inning of the pitchers’ duel.
“That was a big win for us,” said Oregon Tech head coach Greg Stewart of the opener. “We didn’t hit the ball well, but it shows the strengths of our team if we are still able to beat a really good team like Southern.”
Oregon Tech (34-7, 17-2 CCC) stranded 11 runners in the opener — including the bases loaded in each of the first three innings.
After spotting SOU (30-10, 12-6) a 1-0 lead in the first on a Phelicity Fa’Aita run-scoring single, OIT loaded the bases on a single from Kaila Mick and walks to McKenna Armantrout and Seavert.
Kennedy Jantzi followed with a cue-shot into right that spun into the right field corner, clearing the bases, giving the hosts their first lead. Three additional walks – including one to Jensen Becker with the bases loaded – extended the lead to 4-1.
While Raiders reliever Mayze Menefee kept the Owls at bay, SOU pulled even in the fifth, loading the bases on three two-out walks, with Ashton Cathey gapping a 3-run double.
OIT starter Sarah Abramson worked out of jams in the sixth and seventh — finishing the day with 10 strikeouts — with the Tech offense finally scratching across a run in extra innings.
Armantrout lined a base hit to right and Maggie Buckholz eluded a tag on a slow roller to first to put two runners on. Seavert followed with a drive into the left-center gap to give the Owls the win.
Jantzi was 3-for-4, with Mick, Armantrout and Zoe Allen each recording two hits for OIT. Cathey went 2-for-4 in the loss for Southern Oregon, with Menefee allowing just one run in six-plus innings of relief.
Game 2 was dominated by the starting pitchers — as Mckenzie Staub and Fa’Aita each pitched into the seventh. Both right-handers limited their opponent to just five hits and one earned run.
Tech took a 1-0 lead in the fourth — as Staub scored from third on a throwing error while Allen was caught in a run-down between first-and-second. SOU answered in the sixth, taking advantage of an OIT error, with Fa’Aita roping an RBI single to score Desi Acosta from third.
Tied 1-1 in the seventh, Cathey led off the inning for the Raiders with a single and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and ground out. Pinch-hitter Abbi Covalt hit a slow roller to short, beating the throw to first for an RBI infield single — giving SOU the lead.
Oregon Tech got the tying run to second with one out in the bottom of the inning, but Cayla Williams came in from the bullpen, getting the final two outs on ground balls to pick up her fourth save of the season.
Mick had three of OIT’s five hits in the loss, while six different SOU players had one hit.