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SOU sweeps EOU to open conference play

LA GRANDE — Southern Oregon opened the Cascade Collegiate Conference season in style Friday, sweeping a doubleheader over Eastern Oregon 8-0 and 5-3 at Anderson Field.

The wins improved Southern Oregon's record to 6-9 overall, while Eastern Oregon fell to 7-7 overall and 0-2 in the CCC. Southern Oregon returns to action today, when the Raiders will take on College of Idaho in a another CCC doubleheader.

Kara Kelsey finished the day with five hits in eight at bats to go with two runs scored, while Stephanie Vandenbuch cranked a home run in each game and totaled three hits and four runs batted in. Jessica Flores tallied three hits and three RBIs, while Amanda Wolfe and Sierra Anderson had two hits apiece.

Sydney White pitched a complete-game shutout in the opener, limiting Eastern Oregon to five hits and one walk with five strikeouts in a solid 100-pitch outing. Karlie Stephens earned the win for the Raiders in the second game, yielding three runs on 10 hits in 61/3 innings before Chelsea Talbert picked up the final two outs to earn the save.

In the opener, Vandenbusch's three-run homer in the fourth inning put SOU on the board, but the Raider offense continued to pile on in the final innings. A Flores single in the sixth drove home Irene Barrantes from second base to make it 4-0, and the Raiders added four more runs on three hits and an EOU error in the top of the seventh. A bases-loaded walk by Anderson brought home a run, as did a Barrantes fielder's choice before another single by Flores and a fielding error by the Mountaineers led to the final two runs of the game.

The Raiders scored quickly in the second game and held on after EOU rallied for three runs in the final two innings. Kelsey hit a one-out single to center, advanced on a sacrifice bunt and came in to score an unearned run on a throwing error by the pitcher to make it 1-0.

Southern Oregon added three runs on three hits and another EOU error in the second. Anderson singled and advanced all the way to third on a sacrifice bunt and an illegal pitch before coming in to score on a Flores single. After Barrantes was hit by a pitch, Wolfe reached on an infield single to load the bases. A ground ball to shortstop by Lauren Keel went for an error to bring home a run, and an infield groundout by Kelsey scored one more to put SOU up 4-0.

Vandenbusch's second home run of the day came in the fifth inning to score the Raiders' final run before Eastern Oregon rallied for two runs on four hits in the sixth before leaving the bases loaded. A Mountaineer homer in the bottom of the seventh set up the final score of 5-3.