Donovan propels SOU to sweep
ASHLAND — Riley Donovan ignited No. 9-ranked Southern Oregon’s offensive fireworks with a record-setting afternoon against Warner Pacific on Friday at University Field.
Donovan, a senior catcher, accumulated 10 RBIs — becoming the first Raider ever to do so in a single Cascade Conference doubleheader — and tied SOU’s single-season home run record with her 12th in 16-0 and 15-7 wins over the Knights, which both ended after five innings courtesy of the mercy rule.
In addition to her Game 1 opposite-field blast, Donovan stroked two triples and a double, driving in five runs in each contest. Deja Acosta enjoyed a perfect day, going 6-for-6 with seven runs scored and four stolen bases, and 13 different Raiders tallied at least one hit as the team totaled 33 on the day.
With 10 of their final 14 regular season games at home, the Raiders stand at 32-10 overall and 14-6 in the CCC. WPU fell to 5-25 and 3-17.
Cayla Williams also starred by throwing a one-hitter in Game 1 — her no-hitter was broken up with two outs in the fifth — and helping her own cause with three hits, three RBIs and a run scored. She upped her pitching record to 8-2, then drove in two more runs with a double in Game 2.
The Raiders fell behind 5-1 in Game 2 before exploding fo four runs in the third, sixth in the fourth and four more in the fifth. Phelicity Fa’aita drilled her sixth home run in the effort, and Rylan Austin was 2-for-4 with three RBIs.
Piper Love, the reigning CCC Player of the Week, slugged throughout the afternoon. The freshman finished 5-for-6 with two triples, four RBIs and three runs scored.
Mayze Menefee earned her fifth win by pitching 2 2/3 innings of relief.
With her monster day, Donovan shot to the top of the NAIA’s RBI leaderboard, bringing her total to 60, and is now tied for the national home run lead. On SOU’s single-season list, she matched her sister, current SOU assistant coach Harlee Donovan, who established the record during her 2018 NAIA Player of the Year campaign.