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SOU softball splits CCC opener vs. UBC

ASHLAND — British Columbia ended fifth-ranked Southern Oregon’s record home winning streak, but the Raider bats came alive in time to salvage a split on the opening day of Cascade Conference play Friday afternoon at University Field.

The Thunderbirds (1-3 overall) knocked three SOU pitchers for 13 total hits to take an 8-6 decision in Game 1 — celebrating their first victory in two years after border restrictions shut down their 2021 season, and stopping SOU’s regular-season home streak at 40 games. Cayla Williams steadied the Raiders in Game 2 by pitching all six innings of a 9-1 win and boosting their record to 11-4.

Ashton Cathey went 3-for-4 in Game 2 with four RBIs and her third home run of the season, a towering three-run shot that put the Raiders up 4-1 in the first inning. Deja Acosta drove in two runs and scored another with a triple, Riley Donovan had two RBIs, and Kailer Fulton went 2-for-2 with a run and an RBI.

Williams shined through a six-hitter in the circle, striking out three and walking two. The junior right-hander improved to 3-0.

Donovan and Phelicity Fa’aita went deep in Game 1, though UBC’s Shelby Kempel survived all seven innings anyway for a five-hit win.

Donovan’s blast, her third, was part of a three-hit game that also included a double. She put the Raiders ahead 2-0 with one out in the first. The Thunderbirds scored the next eight runs, playing three in the third and five in the fifth.

UBC’s Olivia Malesku and Nicole Salas tallied two hits and two RBIs apiece. Malesku also scored twice from the leadoff spot.

Fa’aita’s home run was a three-run blast that got the Raiders back in it during the bottom of the sixth. They scratched across another run on two errors in the seventh but nothing more.